May 21, 2024

Porcine Vaccines Insights: Disease Prevention Trends in Swine

Porcine Vaccines

The pig farming industry is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. Pigs are raised commercially for meat production. However, pig farming faces various disease challenges that can significantly impact production and profitability. Porcine diseases can spread rapidly in confined pig farms, leading to morbidity and mortality. Vaccination plays a vital preventive role in pig farming by protecting pigs from deadly diseases. This article discusses various porcine vaccines used globally to control important pig diseases.

Common Pig Diseases
Pigs are susceptible to several contagious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. Some of the most economically important pig diseases include foot-and-mouth disease, classical swine fever, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), swine influenza, atrophic rhinitis, leptospirosis, etc. These diseases can cause significant losses to pig farmers due to mortality, reduced growth, inferior meat quality, abortions, etc. Foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever are devastating foreign animal diseases. PRRS is considered one of the most economically significant pig diseases worldwide. Swine influenza also poses zoonotic risk to humans. Routine vaccination is considered crucial for disease prevention and control in commercial pig farms.

Available Porcine Vaccines
Vaccination programs play an integral role in disease management in commercial pig production systems. Various inactivated and live attenuated vaccines are available globally against major pig diseases. Foot-and-mouth disease vaccine contains inactivated FMD virus and provides effective protection. Classical swine fever vaccine contains C-strain virus which induces protective immunity. Killed vaccines against PRRS, swine influenza, leptospirosis, etc. are commonly used. Live vaccines against atrophic rhinitis containing live attenuated Bordetella bronchiseptica and Pasteurella multocida are also available. Some pig bacterial diseases also have bacterins (killed bacterins). These porcine vaccines when administered as per protocols provide solid immunological protection against the respective diseases in pig herds.

Vaccination Protocols
The vaccination schedules may vary depending upon the disease, pig farm management systems, presence of the disease in the region, etc. Most pig farmers follow an all-in/all-out production system. Piglets from disease-free sows undergo routine vaccination soon after weaning (3-4 weeks of age) based on the farm protocols. Vaccines against PRRS, swine influenza, leptospirosis are commonly administered at 3-4 weeks of age. Atrophic rhinitis vaccine is given intranasally to piglets under 4 weeks. Foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever vaccines may be given to piglets of 1-4 months based on risk. Some farms routinely boost the initial vaccines 4-6 weeks later for longer duration of immunity. Sows are also revaccinated before farrowing to protect piglets through colostrum. Proper storage, handling and administration of vaccines as per protocols are important for achieving optimal protection.

Economic Benefits of Vaccination
Several economic studies have demonstrated the benefits of porcine vaccination programs. The costs of routine pig vaccinations are offset many times by the financial gains accruing from prevention of disease outbreaks. Vaccination reduces mortality and treatment costs besides improvement in growth performance parameters like average daily gain and feed conversion efficiency. It minimizes the production losses associated with decreased litter size, abortions, etc. Mass pig vaccination programs against FMD and classical swine fever have helped controlling these devastating diseases in many countries globally. Routine PRRS vaccination has significantly improved herd productivity and stability despite the challenges of PRRS virus diversity. Pig farmers recognize the economic prudence of routine pig vaccination. It provides solid returns in the long run against the risks of major pig diseases. Overall, porcine vaccination is considered as one of the most cost-effective disease prevention strategies in commercial pig farming.

Challenges and Future Prospects
The emergence of new pig disease strains continues to pose challenges to vaccination programs. Vaccine failures have been reported associated with mismatch between field viruses and vaccine strains for influenza and PRRS. Single strain vaccines often fail against heterologous field virus strains. Development of multivalent and universal pig vaccines offering broader protective efficacy is the need of the hour. Newer developments like DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) markers and marker vaccines also hold promise for improved disease control. Advancements in vaccine delivery systems through novel adjuvants and routes also augment protective immunity. With continued research efforts and new product innovations, pig vaccination programs are expected to become more effective, affordable and user-friendly in the future for better pig health and production globally.

In summary, vaccination is the backbone of disease prevention strategies globally in industrial pig production systems. Various porcine vaccines against important viral and bacterial pig pathogens are commercially available. Routine pig vaccination as per farm protocols protects pigs from devastating production losses and improves farm profitability manifold. Despite challenges, vaccination remains one of the most cost-effective disease control interventions. Advancements in vaccine technologies are expected to continuously strengthen pig vaccination programs worldwide for sustainable pig farming.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it