UMN Vet Med Researchers with Pigs

MN Impact: New Model Helps to Predict PRRS Disease Risk

August 23, 2018


Research will provide information to support strategies to control animal diseases.

Issue (Who cares and Why)

Despite decades of research on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), outbreaks of emerging and reemerging PRRS virus strains are not uncommon and frustrate swine producers and veterinarians.

What has been done

Dr. Andres Perez and his team compared the incidence of PRRS as recorded in the Swine Health Monitoring Program from 2009 to 2016 to geographical factors (including land elevation and land coverage) and then developed a Poisson regression model to study various factors affecting outbreak levels.


In the final multivariable model, farms located on highly inclined terrains were associated with fewer PRRS outbreaks. Being in an area with shrubs and trees, compared to cultivated areas, was also associated with fewer outbreaks.

This study shows the influence of terrain characteristics on the spread of airborne diseases, like PRRS, may assist in predicting disease risk and could help in the design of effective measures to mitigate and prevent the risk of infection.