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PCVD - Control of Porcine Circovirus Diseases (PCVDs): Towards Improved Food Quality and Safety


This project will establish an EU-led multidisciplinary consortium containing expertise in epidemiology, pig genetics, pig nutrition, pathology, molecular biology, immunology, vaccinology,bacteriology and PCV virology to generate scientifically sound information on the aetiology and early pathogenesis of PCVDs. This information will be used to generate control measures that will result in the reduction of use of antibiotics and secondary zoonotic bacterial infections, thereby meeting consumer concerns for quality and safety of pork products. This project will fuse the two consortia who participated in the EU projects on PCVDs under Framework 5 and produce a single EU-led consortium.

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PCVDs/PMWS have emerged within the EU with devastating consequences for the pork industry and pig welfare. PCVDs cost the EU pig producers losses in excess of 600 million EURO per year. Because PCVDs target the pig immune system, resulting in a slower growth rate (wasting), lingering disease and immune dysfunction over a 4 to 10 week weaning period, affected herds have a greatly increased incidence of secondary bacterial infections, including salmonella and other zoonotic pathogens. Consequently, the use of antibiotics in PCVD-affected herds is substantially increased. Food quality is affected by slower growth rates, leading to reduced juiciness and tenderness and an increased incidence of boar taint. PCVDs are now known to bemultifactorial. Although the causal infectious agent is PCV2, other external infectious/non-infectious "triggers" are important in the full clinical expression of the disease. Limited epidemiology studies and observation by field veterinarians/pig producers also suggest that the full expression of PCVDs may be linked to genetics of the host and/or its nutritional intake.
<P>For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> or the <a href="; target="_blank">PCVD</a> Web sites.

Allan, Gordon
Queen's University - Belfast
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