Sign up now!
Don't show this again
Download the report!Continue to Site >
or wait 7 secs

Thank you for confirming your subscription!

(And remember, if ever you want to change your email preferences or unsubscribe, just click on the links at the bottom of any email.)

We’re glad you’re enjoying Pig Health Today.
Access is free but you’ll need to register to view more content.
Already registered? Sign In
Tap to download the app


Collect articles and features into your own report to read later, print or share with others

Create a New Report


Read Later

Create a new report

Report title (required) Brief description (optional)
follow us

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Favorites Read Later My Reports PHT Special Reports
Pig Health Today is equipped with some amazing (and free) tools for organizing and sharing content, as well as creating your own magazines and special reports. To access them, please register today.
Sponsored by Zoetis

Pig Health Today | Sponsored by Zoetis


Does PRRS influence weaned pigs’ nutritional response?

In the past 30 years, the growth and body composition of US market hogs has changed dramatically, but the same cannot be said for dietary vitamin and mineral levels.

“Baseline serum vitamin and mineral levels for nursery pig is primarily based on 30-year-old data,” Jacob Baker, veterinary student at Iowa State University, told Pig Health Today.  But the health status of the herd and role of disease may influence the pig’s actual dietary needs.

Because porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PPRS) is such a significant disease in the US swine industry, Baker wanted to evaluate the effect of PRRS virus challenge on vitamin and mineral levels.1

“By understanding what is happening on a physiological basis, diet changes or other interventions may help reduce losses caused by disease,” Baker said.

For the study

Four pigs were selected from 10 litters out of a PRRS-positive-stable sow farm and then allocated to either a non-challenged control group or a PRRS-challenged group. Pre-weaning blood tests confirmed the pigs were negative for PRRS by polymerase chain reaction test.

The control and challenged groups were housed in separate facilities, 20 miles apart. Both groups received the same nursery diet.

At 7 days post-weaning, pigs in the challenge group received an intra-muscular injection of PRRS virus-184, with exposure confirmed 2 days later. Notably, the sow herd had not previously encountered this virus.

Baker collected serum samples and weighed pigs at the time of the PRRS virus challenge and 3 weeks later, at the trial’s conclusion. Pigs in the control group also were confirmed PRRS-negative at that time. All pigs were euthanized to collect liver tissue and second-rib samples for further testing.

The findings

The PRRS-challenged pigs had lower levels of vitamin A in serum and higher levels in their livers versus the control pigs. This shift in vitamin levels makes it less available to the pig for growth, which may explain the difference in average daily gain between the control group at 0.75 lbs. and the challenged pigs at 0.40 lbs., Baker said.

Conversely, the PRRS-challenged pigs had more vitamin E in their blood and less in their liver than the controls. This suggests that the vitamin was mobilized from the liver to support an immune response in the challenged pigs.

Looking at calcium, the challenged pigs had higher levels in serum and lower levels in their ribs compared to control pigs. “The challenged pigs may have been mobilizing calcium from bone reserves for T-cell proliferation and maturation,” he noted. In general, the challenged pigs had larger increases and higher levels of most minerals in their blood at the close of the trail.

“This study suggests that metabolism of vitamins and minerals in PRRS-infected pigs is altered,” Baker concluded.

He added that more research is needed to determine whether dietary adjustments are warranted to address the production parameters of diseased pigs.


1 Baker J, et al. The influence of a porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus infection on vitamin and mineral levels in serum, liver, and bone of recently weaned pigs. Student Poster 06, 50th American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ Annual Meeting. 2019;257.



Posted on July 25, 2019

tags: , , , ,

You must be logged in to edit your profile.

Google Translate is provided on this website as a reference tool. However, Poultry Health Today and its sponsor and affiliates do not guarantee in any way the accuracy of the translated content and are not responsible for any event resulting from the use of the translation provided by Google. By choosing a language other than English from the Google Translate menu, the user agrees to withhold all liability and/or damage that may occur to the user by depending on or using the translation by Google.