Photo: The Native Antigen Company

Porcine Parvovirus (PPV)

PPV, while not outwardly noticeable in our pigs during day-to-day observation, poses significant challenges as it affects our in-pig sows and gilts. This virus can wreak havoc internally, impacting embryo and foetus development.

Previously known as “stillbirth mummification embryonic death and infertility” (SMEDI), PPV was once a prevalent issue. However, effective vaccines have considerably reduced its occurrence.

Signs and Effects:

Signs of PPV vary depending on the stage of pregnancy. Infection can occur during mating, leading to total embryo loss and subsequent return to estrus. Later infections may still result in embryo destruction, with pregnancies terminating if fewer than four embryos are present. As the virus progresses, it can lead to termination of all foetuses, initiating a process of re-absorption and resulting in mummified births.

This litter belonged to a non-vaccinated gilt that was confirmed with PPV at approximately day 40 of gestation. Photo: Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

Diagnosis and Behaviour:

Diagnosing PPV involves observing certain behaviours in breeding sows and gilts, such as repeated hogging every 3 weeks or irregular patterns every 4-5 weeks, along with the presence of mummified piglets and stillbirths.

Prevention and Vaccination:

Preventing PPV primarily relies on a robust vaccination program. Vaccines, particularly the combi vaccine Ery/Parvo, are highly effective. Consulting with your veterinary practice is essential for guidance on vaccination protocols, including vaccinating gilts prior to service and providing booster doses as recommended.

Considerations for Boars:

Boars themselves may not show clinical signs or semen damage from PPV but can carry and transmit the virus, potentially infecting gilts. Some veterinarians recommend vaccinating boars every six months to mitigate this risk, particularly in AI studs.

For comprehensive prevention and control strategies against PPV, veterinary advice and guidance is paramount.

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