top of page

Ralco Launches Product to Reduce Risk from Viral Challenges in Swine

Research published in the July 2020 issue of Transboundary and Emerging Diseases stated that feeding Ralco’s Dual Defender™ feed additive prevented clinical signs of disease and mortality in pigs challenged with several viruses including Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSV 174), and Senecavirus A (SVA). The research study was conducted by Dr. Scott Dee, Director of Research for Pipestone Research, LLC.

The role of animal feed as a vehicle for transmission of viral diseases was first identified during the emergence of PEDv in 2013.1 Since then, many feed additives have been studied at the laboratory level to mitigate viruses but not at the animal level to show true performance.

“Our goal in conducting this study was to provide a natural solution for swine producers to protect their herd from viruses, especially with the latest potential threat of African Swine Fever,” said Dr. Jessica Fox, Director of Veterinary Services and Biosecurity for Ralco. “Feed risk mitigation through additives is a new layer of biosecurity that producers can use to safeguard their feed and defend their herd.”

“This research model was the perfect opportunity to validate our product in a viral feed challenge setting that mirrored commercial production,” said Dr. Fox.

Research Details The new research was led by Dr. Dee and supported by Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, and Swine Health Information Center. There has never been a project of this magnitude, with this size and scope, to help producers evaluate products to protect their herd against potential viral challenges in feed.

The results of the study showed that pigs fed Dual Defender remained free of PRRSV and SVA infection and clinical signs were not detected. In addition, no clinical signs of PEDv were observed.

Pigs fed Dual Defender overall had significantly greater average daily gain, significantly lower clinical signs and infection levels, and numerically lower mortality rates compared to non-supplemented controls.

Dual Defender performed extremely well in this research project. It stands out for its natural approach and low inclusion rate,” concluded Dr. Fox.

Product details

Dual Defender is NEXUS™ formulated with a patent-pending combination of phytonutrients that are specifically chosen for viral inactivation properties, ability to support immune system efficiency and capability to shift the intestinal microbial populations to reduce impact of secondary pathogens.

Ralco pioneered the mainstream use of phytonutrients for animal health and nutrition over 20 years ago. “Our expertise in phytonutrients is what gave us the ability to formulate this product,” said Dr. Fox. "By using our NEXUS formulation strategy, we were able to match up the precise phytonutrient properties to support the immune system and reduce the impact of viral challenges.”

Ultimately, Dual Defender gives swine producers another tool in their biosecurity toolbox,” said Dr. Fox. “Now producers can have a natural, safe, easy-to-handle product that they can add to their overall biosecurity program.”

References 1. Dee SA, Niederwerder MC, Edler R, et al. An evaluation of additives for mitigating the risk of virus-contaminated feed using an ice-block challenge model. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2020;00:1–13.

About Ralco Ralco is a third-generation family-owned multinational company with distribution in more than 40 countries. Ralco is a leading global provider of natural solutions to maximize nutrient conversion in plants and animals. Learn more at


bottom of page