A cost-effective, low-stress injection site isn’t an injection site.

Quantifying Individual Response to PRRSV Using Dynamic Indicators of Resilience Based on Activity

Pigs are faced with various perturbations throughout their lives, some of which are induced by management practices, others by natural causes. Resilience is described as the ability to recover from or cope with a perturbation. Using these data, activity patterns of an individual, as well as deviations from these patterns, can potentially be used to quantify resilience. Dynamic indicators of resilience (DIORs) may measure resilience on a different dimension by calculating variation, autocorrelation and skewness of activity from the absolute activity data. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential of using DIORs of activity, such as average, root mean square error (RMSE), autocorrelation or skewness as indicators of resilience to infection with the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV). For this study, individual activity was obtained from 232 pigs equipped with ear tag accelerometers and inoculated with PRRSV between seven and 9 weeks of age. Clinical scores were assigned to each individual at 13 days post-challenge and used to distinguish between a resilient and non-resilient group. Mortality post-challenge was also recorded. Average, RMSE, autocorrelation and skewness of activity were calculated for the pre- and post-challenge phases, as well as the change in activity level pre- vs. post-challenge (i.e., delta). DIORs pre-challenge were expected to predict resilience to PRRSV in the absence of PRRSV infection, whereas DIORs post-challenge and delta were expected to reflect the effect of the PRRSV challenge. None of the pre-challenge DIORs predicted morbidity or mortality post-challenge. However, a higher RMSE in the 3 days post-challenge and larger change in level and RMSE of activity from pre- to post-challenge tended to increase the probability of clinical signs at day 13 post-infection (poor resilience). A higher skewness post-challenge (tendency) and a larger change in skewness from pre- to post-challenge increased the probability of mortality. A decrease in skewness post-challenge lowered the risk of mortality. The post-challenge DIOR autocorrelation was neither linked to morbidity nor to mortality. In conclusion, results from this study showed that post-challenge DIORs of activity can be used to quantify resilience to PRRSV challenge.

Van der Zande L, Dunkelberger J, Rodenburg T, Bolhuis J, Mathur P, Cairns W, Keyes M, Eggert J, Little E, Dee S, Knol E. Quantifying individual response to PRRSV using dynamic indicators of resilience based on activity. Front Vet Sci. 2020 June. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00325