Topigs Norsvin has recently implemented selection for increased natural resistance to PRRS by using the WUR SNP in breeding value estimation. The WUR SNP is a genetic marker for a major gene associated with natural resistance to PRRS.
Several research trials have demonstrated that pigs with the favorable WUR genotype were more resistant to PRRS as a result of lower virus load and greater daily gain upon challenge with the PRRS virus. This means that pigs with the favorable genotype were better able to cope with the infection, thereby reducing the overall economic impact of disease.
Implementing selection for increased resistance to PRRS in the Topigs Norsvin breeding program presents a natural, readily available control strategy for the most costly swine disease in the world. By incorporating WUR SNP genotype into the breeding program, Topigs Norsvin has introduced an effective defense mechanism against this economically important disease.
Topigs Norsvin continues to invest in breeding for natural disease resistance to specific diseases like PRRS, as well as general robustness to disease challenge. This will lead to healthier and more sustainable pig production.