Fostera PRRS licensed to help protect the whole herd

Farm Forum

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Fostera PRRS, from Zoetis, is now licensed for whole herd protection against both the respiratory and reproductive forms of disease caused by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus.

The new reproductive claim, recently granted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), allows for vaccination of sows and gilts pre-breeding to help provide protection against the reproductive form of the disease. The new respiratory claim allows for vaccination of pigs 1 day of age or older against the respiratory form of the disease.

With the new claims, Fostera PRRS is now the first and only PRRS modified-live virus (MLV) vaccine to be licensed for the vaccination of healthy, susceptible swine 1 day of age or older in PRRS virus-positive herds to:

• Aid in preventing reproductive disease with a duration of immunity of at least 19 weeks

• Aid in preventing respiratory disease with a duration of immunity of at least 26 weeks

“PRRS continues to have devastating impacts on the swine industry, totaling more than $1 billion per year in production-related losses and disease-control expenses,” said Brett O’Brien, VMD, MS, Pork Technical Services, Zoetis. “Now, with label claims against both respiratory and reproductive forms of PRRS, Fostera PRRS helps bring solutions to the whole herd and producers’ bottom line.”

Helping protect the reproductive herd

New research on Fostera PRRS allowed the vaccine to gain one of the USDA’s highest label claims of “aids in prevention” designation for its reproductive claim. In a clinical research study, 33 times more piglets were born alive to gilts vaccinated with Fostera PRRS compared with unvaccinated controls.

“Reproductive disease caused by PRRS results in 8.3 million fewer weaned piglets each year,” Dr. O’Brien said. “Fostera PRRS has been shown to reduce the detrimental impacts of PRRS in the breeding herd.”

In one study, PRRS virus-negative gilts were vaccinated with Fostera PRRS approximately six weeks pre-breeding. The vaccinates and controls were then challenged in the third trimester. The use of Fostera PRRS helped preserve more viable live piglets by helping prevent the reproductive form of the disease. In addition, Fostera PRRS helped reduce the incidence and duration of clinical disease in the challenged pregnant gilts.

Safety of Fostera PRRS also was evaluated. The results of a safety study showed minimal injection site reactions, and similar low rates occurred in all gestational classes and treatment groups.

Earlier protection for growing pigs

Respiratory disease caused by PRRS virus accounts for more than half of the economic impact to the industry from pneumonia, poor performance and immunological suppression. Getting growing pigs the protection they need earlier in life may offer tangible benefits compared with products that require vaccinations at weaning. Fostera PRRS now can be administered as early as 1 day of age, allowing for vaccination of the piglets on the sow farm.

“Moving PRRS vaccination early into the farrowing house can help provide protection against earlier onset of disease,” Dr. O’Brien said. “That’s an important factor for farms where PRRS threatens pigs early in their lives soon after weaning.”

In the study to support the 1-day-of-age vaccination, Fostera PRRS reduced the severity of lung lesions by 98.4% compared with the controls. Clinical signs of disease were reduced post-challenge in the group of piglets receiving vaccinations.

“Not only does Fostera PRRS help provide protection to growing pigs earlier in life but also helps provide demonstrated protection longer into the production cycle,” Dr. O’Brien said.

Another study also demonstrated that, when given at 1 day of age, Fostera PRRS has a duration of immunity of at least 26 weeks to help protect against respiratory disease in growing pigs.

Helping protect the whole herd

Along with the additional claims, Fostera PRRS is backed by a team of experts who can work with you to assess your herd health and help implement and monitor your vaccine program. Fostera PRRS is supported by a broad portfolio of products and services from Zoetis to help you find the right solutions to help protect your entire herd against PRRS and the co-infections associated with this disease.

For more information on Fostera PRRS, visit or contact your local Zoetis representative.