Learn About the Impact of Genetics on Disease Control

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) has a huge impact on the U.S. and global swine industries. PRRS virus is commonly managed on farms through both immunization protocols to decrease the impact of the disease and biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of new strains. However, there are limitations to these control actions.

There is a growing recognition of the role that host genetics plays on disease. In the past, there has been a significant shift in genetic selection programs to include genetic strategies to improve animal health. However, genetics is a topic to which veterinarians are seldom exposed during their training years. This online class is designed for anyone interested in learning more about genetic selection and the application of genetic improvement strategies to enhance animal health.

The course will identify basic concepts of infectious disease biology and provide an introduction to genetics and genetic selection, including the use of genomics in genetic improvement programs and the implementation of genetic selection for disease resistance. Finally, the course will focus on the application of genetics in the control of PRRS virus.

Who Should Participate in this Course?
Veterinary and graduate students; animal health professionals; veterinarians and other professionals working in swine production and animal health management; geneticists, immunologists, research and industry veterinarians, and international research partners.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the class, a student will be able to:

Synthesize the epidemiological and biological characteristics of an infectious disease

Explain the bases of a genetic improvement program and how a program works

Compare and contrast the various genetic selection tools and approaches and how they can be used to improve health

Recognize the limitations of genetic improvement of health due to the pathogen’s biology and evolution

Explain genetic approaches to control PRRS infections

For More Information

Visit our website for more information about the course, learning outcomes, continuing education credits, and course contributors.

Contact: Katherine Hagberg, University of Minnesota, 612-624-4230, [email protected].