Chiang Rai Pigs Dying from Porcine Reproductive, Respiratory Syndrome



CHIANG RAI – An outbreak of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has been reported in the northern province of Chiang Rai, with local authorities battling to curb the spread.

PRRS is a viral disease characterized by two overlapping clinical presentations, reproductive impairment or failure in breeding animals, and respiratory disease in pigs of any age, around 50 pigs have died by the outbreak since May 10.

The livestock unit in Chiang Rai has declared 3 districts in the province an outbreak zone and announced that no pigs can be transported in and out of the affected areas during June 10 to July 6.

Pigs that died of unknown causes are urged to be buried, instead of eaten. Local units remain alert against an outbreak in other areas in the province.

Recently, PRRS has become a worldwide endemic disease of pigs. In 2006, an atypical and more virulent PRRS (HP-PRRS) emerged in China and spread to many countries, including Thailand.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)

PRRS is a highly contagious disease found in swine (pigs and wild boars). It is caused by a virus belonging to the Arterivirus family that also contains the causative agents of equine arteritis and simian hemorrhagic fever. The PRRS virus is a small (50–60 nm), enveloped RNA virus with at least two different membrane proteins at its surface, which are probably the antigens that elicit the serological responses detected in infected pigs.

The PRRS virus has immunosuppressive activity and kills the macrophages in the lung, inside which it replicates. This probably helps compromise pulmonary resistance to other infectious viruses and bacteria. Viral particles are secreted in all bodily secretions, including nasal secretions, feces, and sperm, as well as in aborted fetal tissue and placenta. This disease is spread throughout the world and affects domesticated pigs in particular.

The virus causes respiratory and influenza-like symptoms as well as fertility problems, abortion, and the birth of runts.

Human health risk
It does not appear that PRRS presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact

PRRS is one of the most economically damaging diseases for the pig industry. Reduced reproduction rates and decreased weight gain performance of infected animals can lead to substantial economic damage for farming operations.



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