Identification of resilient sows in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus-infected farms
Abella Falcó, Glòria
Varona Aguado, Luís
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The identification of resilient sows can improve reproductive performance in farms exposed to multiple challenges. A common challenge is the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). A key issue to deal with disease resilience is to set up a feasible phenotyping strategy. Our aim was to develop a phenotyping criterion to discriminate susceptible from resilient sows in PRRSV-infected farms. A total of 517 Landrace x Large White gilts were classified as resilient (R) or susceptible (S) to PRRSV virus, following vaccination with MLV-PRRSV at 6-7 wk of age, in a PRRSV negative multiplication farm. Female piglets were phenotyped as R if their serum was negative to PRRSV at 7 and 21 d post-vaccination (DPV) or as S if their serum was positive at 7 and/or 21 DPV. Amongst them, 382 gilts were transferred to a PRRSV-positive production farm, where the number of piglets born alive (NBA), stillborn (NSB), mummified (NMU), lost (NLP=NSB+NMU) and total born (NTB = NBA+NLP) were recorded for almost three years. Data were collected during two periods according to the PRRSV farm health status, which were confirmed as either PRRSV-positive stable (endemic) or inestable (epidemic). Analyses were carried out under a Bayesian approach. The heritability for the resilience criterion was estimated using a threshold model. A linear (for NTB and NBA) and a binomial model (for NSB, NMU and NLP) on the resilience criterion by the farm health status were used to assess the difference between R and S sows. The heritability of the resilience criterion was 0.46 (SD 0.06). The probability of a piglet being lost was greater (≥0.97) in S than in R litters, regardless of whether the delivery occurred during a PRRSV outbreak (20.5% vs 17.0%) or not (15.8% vs 13.7%). The lower piglet mortality rate in R sows was due to NSB, in the endemic phase (13.0% vs 15.0% of NTB, with a posterior probability of 98% of S sows showing higher NSB than R sows), and to NMU, in the epidemic phase (4.0% vs 8.4% of NTB, with a posterior probability of >99% of S sows showing higher NMU than R sows). During a PRRSV outbreak, the S sows were twice as likely to give birth to a mummified piglet as compared to R sows. These findings provide evidence that the described phenotyping scheme has a potential use as a PRRSV resilience criterion.
Is part ofJournal of Animal Science, 2019, vol. 97, num. 8, p. 3228-3236
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