Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) was first known as blue-eared pig disease in the United Kingdom and the causative agent as 'Lelystad virus'. The disease is characterised by very variable clinical signs, including reproductive failure and respiratory disease. The respiratory syndrome is often associated with severe infection with secondary bacterial agents including Pasteurella multocida, Haemophilus parasuis and Streptococcus suis. However, some seropositive herds show no clinical signs of disease. The secondary infections may be facilitated by the destruction of circulating lymphocytes, by the destruction of the mucociliary clearance system and, most importantly, by a large reduction in the numbers of alveolar macrophages. The clinical syndrome observed in a herd may therefore depend in part upon the other diseases present.
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