Photo: Mette Buck Jensen

European centre for serious pig disease established in Denmark

Wednesday 17 Dec 14


Lars Erik Larsen
Teacher One Health
National Food Institute

Project partners

In addition to DTU Vet, the participants in the European project entitled 'Control of highly virulent/pathogenic European porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses (KILLeuPRRSV)' include: Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) in the UK, Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis in Switzerland, INRA in France and Ghent University in Belgium.

The other partners are, among other things, responsible for improving or understanding of infection dynamics with this virus, and not least developing vaccines against the disease.

The Danish activities have been granted almost DKK 900,000 by Innovation Fund Denmark, and the project forms part of the Coordination of European research on animal health and welfare (ANIHWA ERA-Net).

DTU Vet is participating in a new major EU project and will serve as a European monitoring centre for Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), which has a major impact on both the economy and pig welfare. The aim is to ensure improved control of the disease in Denmark and internationally.

By Mette Buck Jensen

A new pan-European EU project will now combat PRRS—the viral disease in pigs which has the most significant global consequences, including in Denmark. The disease causes substantial financial losses and has a major impact on animal welfare. And now, new and even more pathogenic strains are prospering.

Among other things, the disease involves miscarriages among sows and high mortality among piglets. In addition, large volumes of antimicrobial agents are used to treat respiratory problems associated with PRRS.

Professor Lars Erik Larsen from the Section for Virology at DTU Vet heads the Danish participation in the project, which includes establishing a monitoring centre to map the types of PRRS found in outbreaks in Europe. The mapping will include employing a new fast sequencing method developed at DTU Vet.

"We expect such monitoring to provide a clear picture of which highly infectious and pathogenic PRRS strains are found in Europe, and how they are evolving" says Lars Erik Larsen and continues:

"This will allow us to build up extensive knowledge to optimize our diagnosis, develop vaccines and ensure targeted PRRS control."