Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization -
International Vaccine Centre

Pathogenesis and vaccine development for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome

Project Leaders: Alexander Zakhartchouk, Volker Gerdts

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, caused by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), continues to be the most significant cause of swine production losses globally. In North America the annual economic loss of a PRRSV infected pig is estimated between $10-20, which results in industry-wide losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently inactivated and modified-live vaccines against PRRSV are commercially available, and DNA- and vectored-vaccines are in early preclinical development. However, these vaccines have failed to provide complete protection against the wide range of PRRSV strains, and/or are associated with significant safety risks. An alternative vaccination option is urgently needed by global swine producers.

Our research is targeted at the development of safe novel vaccines that are effective in stimulating innate and adaptive immunity..


  • Develop a safe and effective PRRSV vaccine
  • Improve understanding of PRRSV pathogenesis and virus-host cell interactions