Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. (BIVI), announced the 2014 recipients of its annual PRRS research awards at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Conference in Dallas.  For more than a decade, BIVI has offered the research awards in an effort to provide practical approaches to the management of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).

BIVI in 2014 awarded $75,000 to support three separate studies by independent swine disease researchers and practitioners in their investigations of novel ways to diagnose, control and eliminate PRRS. The selected PRRS studies focus on three important areas of disease research: the effect of maternal PRRS immunity in pigs vaccinated with PRRS MLV vaccine and subsequently challenged with a heterologous PRRSV; and helping veterinarians and producers differentiate new PRRS virus incursions from resident strains; and improving oral fluid diagnostics.

From the many PRRS research proposals submitted for the 2014 awards consideration, the three following recipients were selected and their research proposals were recognized at the March AASV Conference:


  • Brad Leuwerke, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minn. - Effect of maternal PRRS immunity on the response of pigs to vaccination with a homologous modified-live vaccine and subsequent response to heterologous PRRS virus challenge.
  • Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn. - Differentiating new PRRS virus incursions from resident virus strains.
  • Jeff Zimmerman, DVM, PhD, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa - Cleaning up oral fluid samples for improved diagnostics.

The three research proposals were selected based on established criteria that include potential for economic impact to the swine industry; originality and scientific quality; and probability of success in completing the study.    


 "Longstanding research programs like the BIVI PRRS research awards do provide the practical, effective results that veterinarians can utilize to better diagnose, prevent and control PRRS," said incoming AASV President Michelle Sprague, DVM, with Audubon Manning Veterinary Clinic (AMVC) in Audubon, Iowa. "As a swine veterinarian, I see firsthand on swine farms the benefits these research programs provide."

The BIVI-sponsored PRRS research awards have been critical in the development of less costly, more reliable diagnostic testing and sampling processes, as well as identifying more effective biosecurity, risk assessment and vaccination strategies. Since the inception of the research awards program, the company has contributed $912,500 through the PRRS research awards to fund 37 separate research projects.

Proposal entries for the 2015 Advancement in PRRS Research Awards are due January 1, 2015.