Same Day PRRS Testing
For immediate release
Contacts: Meta Gaertnier, College of Veterinary Medicine,
U OF MINNESOTA LAB OFFERS SAME-DAY PRRS TESTING
TO SWINE INDUSTRY
Veterinary Diagnostic Lab turnaround is nation's
fastest; part of ongoing commitment to meet customer needs
(Jan. 17, 2003) - Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory
Syndrome (PRRS) can be devastating to the nation's pork producers, costing
some producers hundreds of thousands of dollars and putting others out of business.
A new same-day PRRS testing service from the University of Minnesota College
of Veterinary Medicine can help producers verify that their boars test negative
for the disease and provide the means to detect and control PRRS more quickly,
which can increase productivity and save herds.
Minnesota's is the first
veterinary diagnostic lab in the nation to provide high-volume, same-day turnaround.
The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory launched
the service in response to requests from Minnesota boar stud operations that
need to prove to semen buyers that their boar semen has tested negative for
PRRS virus. The lab already was offering next-day service, which is significantly
faster than the three to four days previously required to perform the test.
same-day service is available to boar stud producers nationwide.
"PRRS virus is shed in boar semen even before there are
clinical signs, so boar stud operations need evidence that the product they
ship to buyers has been tested
and found negative for PRRS virus," said Jim Collins, DVM, PhD, director
of the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (VDL).
"Boar semen must be shipped fresh, so
every hour that the shipment is delayed results in some degradation. Rapid
results translate into greater productivity,
because the semen can be sold and used when at its peak," Collins said.
is the No. 1 infectious disease affecting the swine industry, causing stillbirths,
low-birth weight, premature birth, pneumonia and death. The disease
and is transmitted in the semen of boars or from hog-to-hog contact.
asked us in December for faster results, we immediately revamped our PRRS testing
service," said Jeffery Klausner, DVM and dean of the
College of Veterinary Medicine. "We're further strengthening Minnesota's
animal food production industry while providing value-added services that can
improve a producer's bottom line."
The VDL introduced the service on Jan. 6, and in the first four days conducted
about 350 tests on more than 1,300 semen samples. Two components make the same-day
- First, the VDL modified the delivery time so samples arrive
earlier, and it adjusted laboratory staffing to accommodate working well
into the evening.
- Second, the VDL's online result reporting service was enhanced.
than wait for a written or faxed report, customers can retrieve results within
eight hours through the VDL's secure Web site. Using a unique password,
they simply access the report, print it and have the option of enclosing
it with the semen shipment for the buyer's review.
VDL's online reporting service
allows producers and veterinarians to view individual test results or to
retrospectively view results from all the samples
"Our Web site provides real-time test results along with links to key treatment
information 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Collins. "We're
committed to converting diagnostic data into information that veterinarians
and producers can use to act more quickly and better manage their operations."
All PRRS tests are conducted at the VDL facility on the University's St.
Paul campus. Established in 1904, the VDL is dedicated to identifying emerging
diseases, developing new and more effective diagnostic methods, and training
veterinarians and graduate students. It serves as the official laboratory
of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and is the state's only full-service,
accredited animal diagnostic facility, charged with diagnosing such infectious
diseases as chronic wasting disease, West Nile virus, Johne's disease
in dairy cattle, and avian pneumovirus in turkeys. The lab conducted more
million diagnostic tests in 2002.
The College of Veterinary Medicine improves the health and well-being of animals
and people by providing high-quality veterinary training, conducting leading-edge
research and delivering innovative veterinary services.
The Academic Health Center (AHC) is home to the University of Minnesota's
seven health professional schools and colleges, including the College of Veterinary
Medicine, as well as several health-related centers and institutions. Founded
in 1851, the University is one of the oldest and largest land-grant institutions
in the country. The AHC mission is to prepare the new health professionals
who improve the health of communities, discover and deliver new treatments
and strengthen the economy.
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