Objective: To estimate the annual cost of infections attributable to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus to US swine producers.
Design: Economic analysis.
Sample population: Data on the health and productivity of PRRS-affected and PRRS-unaffected breeding herds and growing-pig populations were collected from a convenience sample of swine farms in the midwestern United States.
Procedure: Health and productivity variables of PRRS-affected and PRRS-unaffected swine farms were analyzed to estimate the impact of PRRS on specific farms. National estimates of PRRS incidence were then used to determine the annual economic impact of PRRS on US swine producers.
Results: PRRS affected breeding herds and growing-pig populations as measured by a decrease in reproductive health, an increase in deaths, and reductions in the rate and efficiency of growth. Total annual economic impact of these effects on US swine producers was estimated at dollar 66.75 million in breeding herds and dollar 493.57 million in growing-pig populations.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: PRRS imposes a substantial financial burden on US swine producers and causes approximately dollar 560.32 million in losses each year. By comparison, prior to eradication, annual losses attributable to classical swine fever (hog cholera) and pseudorabies were estimated at dollar 364.09 million and dollar 36.27 million, respectively (adjusted on the basis of year 2004 dollars). Current PRRS control strategies are not predictably successful; thus, PRRS-associated losses will continue into the future. Research to improve our understanding of ecologic and epidemiologic characteristics of the PRRS virus and technologic advances (vaccines and diagnostic tests) to prevent clinical effects are warranted.