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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
August 10, 2007

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Contact: Chris Beuoy

Expert Panel Issues White Paper Identifying Needs in PRRS Vaccine Research

University of Illinois Colloquium Addresses High-Impact Disease Hampering Swine Industry

URBANA -- Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is the most significant disease problem facing the swine industry worldwide. In the United States alone, PRRS is estimated to have an economic impact between $560 million and $762 million annually on pork producers. Yet nearly 20 years after PRRS was first identified, there has been little success in developing economical and effective control strategies for this highly variable viral disease.

On June 1 and 2, 2007, researchers at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine convened a group of 22 national experts in PRRS, virology, immunology, and vaccinology to discuss the state of current knowledge about PRRS vaccination. The group included clinical veterinarians, academic researchers, and vaccine industry scientists.

The resulting white paper represents a significant advance in achieving scientific consensus on the knowledge gaps that must be addressed in order to produce successful vaccination strategies to control the impact of PRRS. If future research proceeds along suggested pathways, the group agreed that effective vaccine strategies could reach the market within the next 5 to 10 years.

Key areas for future research include identifying the mechanisms by which the PRRS virus causes disease and the components of the virus that play a role in inducing protective immunity.

It is hoped that the white paper will serve as a guide for future PRRS virus vaccine research.