Gilt replacement strategies used in two swine production areas in Quebec in regard to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus
Marie-Ève Lambert, DVM, PhD; Martine Denicourt, DVM, MSc; Zvonimir Poljak, DVM, MSc, PhD; Sylvie D’Allaire, DVM, MSc, PhD
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Objectives: To describe gilt replacement strategies in regard to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and to assess differences between high density (HD) and moderate density (MD) pig areas.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in breeding sites located in an HD (n = 68) and an MD area (n = 52) in Quebec between May 2005 and August 2008. A questionnaire on strategies used to introduce replacement gilts was completed and PRRSV status was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Sites housing at least one pig positive by either test were classified as PRRSV-positive. Strategies were described according to herd characteristics, PRRSV status, and area.
Results: Self-replacement and purchase of mature or immature gilts were observed on 37%, 35%, and 28% of sites, respectively. In positive sites purchasing mature gilts, 18% had a PRRSV-positive supplier, and gilts were introduced either directly into the sow herd (15%) or after isolation (41%) or acclimatization (44%). Most positive sites purchasing immature gilts practiced acclimatization (93%), either by commingling gilts with commercial pigs (93%) or inoculating serum (7%). Acclimatization processes were rarely monitored through diagnostic procedures. Lower sow inventory, higher prevalence of PRRSV infection, and higher frequency of self-replacement were observed in the HD compared to the MD area. Negative and positive sites practicing voluntary exposure to PRRSV both clustered spatially within the MD area.
Implication: Replacement strategies may have weaknesses that should be addressed to facilitate PRRSV management at the herd and regional levels.
Keywords: porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, gilt, acclimatization, spatial cluster, PRRSV
Cite as: Lambert ME, Denicourt M, Poljak Z, et al. Gilt replacement strategies used in two swine production areas in Quebec in regard to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. J Swine Health Prod 2012;20(5):223-230.
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