Chinese Medicine, 2011, 2, 154-157
doi:10.4236/cm.2011.24025 Published Online December 2011 (
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. CM
Traditional Chinese Medicine Daitai for Use in the
Prevention of Porcine Reproductive and
Respiratory Syndrome
Chuantian Xu1, Mei Lu2, Beixia Hu1, Qinggui Lu3, Xiumei Zhang1*
1Institute of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan, China
2Weifang College of Education, Qingzhou, China
3Weifang Noted Pharmaceutical Co., LTD, Qingzhou, China
E-mail: *
Received May 24, 2011; revised August 10, 2011; accepted August 24, 2011
To find an effective prevention method for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), three
indices from experimental and control group pigs, namely, routine blood index, serum biochemical indica-
tors, and conventional cell factor contents of serum, are inspected. The prevention and treatment of PRRS
effect are evaluated, feeding pigs with Daitai. Results show that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) Daitai
can significantly improve the nonspecific immunity of pigs.
Keywords: PRRS, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nonspecific Immunity, Viral Disease
1. Introduction
For nearly 30 years, the breeding industry in China has
developed rapidly at an unceasingly expanding scale and
with constantly updated equipment. China has therefore
become a breeding superpower, but its breeding quality
requires further enhancement. At present, an uneven ma-
nagement level exists in domestic cultivation, and new
diseases emerge while old illnesses are still rampant. Bi-
ological safety measures are currently non-existent. There-
fore, the domestic breeding environment has become
very poor. For example, in 2006, a porcine reproductive
and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) disease outbreak oc-
curred in China and has since been continuing to devas-
tate the porcine industry, resulting in substantial eco-
nomic losses [1-3]. However, no special vaccines have
been developed yet, and pig diseases treated using tradi-
tional antibiotics have yielded poor outcomes. As a result,
a large number of pigs died rapidly after being given
traditional antibiotics. Confronted with PRRS, farmers
burned pig carcasses, and veterinary experts, scientific
research personnel, and vaccine and veterinary medicine
manufacturers were placed in a very embarrassing situa-
tion because of their apparent inability to mitigate the
situation. Facing this reality, a number of options were
considered, including providing pigs with a relatively
comfortable environment or leaving them to fend on
their own. Although advanced equipment paved the way
for the modernization of breeding, these devices merely
affected the external environment. However, the primary
concern of many breeders was the inability to raise pigs
well because of the large number of porcine diseases.
Based on blood routine indices, biochemical indicators,
and cell factor content testing used in the analysis of the
experimental and the control groups of pigs, the preven-
tion and the treatment of PRRS were evaluated. The cur-
rent study discusses the systemic principles of traditional
Chinese medicines (TCMs) that can be applied for the
enhancement of the animal husbandry industry.
2. Materials and Methods
Experimental groups I, II, and III and the control group
contain three-month-old piglets, with 30 heads in each
group. Tested pigs were fed with Daitai, with 1 kg of
Daitai added to each ton of feed. On the other hand, con-
trol group pigs were given feed without Daitai. Daitai
was provided by Weifang-Noted Pharmaceuticals Co.,
LTD and was composed of the following primary ingre-
dients: astragalus, radix scutellariae, barrenwort, licorice,
and so on.
Experiment I. Routine blood test: one month after ac-
quisition, each pig und ergoes a routine blood test for an-
Experiment II. Serum biochemical index test: one mon-
th after acquisition, serum is extracted from each pig to
determine biochemical index.
Experiment III. Cytokine detection: one month after
acquisition, serum is extracted from each pig to detect
cytokine content. An ELISA kit from an American R &
D company was used for the detection of IL-2 and TNF
alpha. A detection method was employed based on the
kit. Selected equipment and anticoagulants were provid-
ed by the People’s Hospital of Qinzhou, and the routine
blood test and biochemical indices required for Experi-
ments I and II were tested by the same hospital.
Experimentl IV. The effect of Daitai on the prevention
of PRRS: pigs in the experimental and control groups all
originated from Qing zhou City, Shandong Province, wh-
ere PRRS was rampant in 2009. The experimental group
included 46 sow s, 80 p iglets, and 72 breeding p igs, all of
which were fed with Daitai (1 kg Daitai additives for
every ton of feed). The control group included 80 sows,
150 piglet s , and 93 bree d i ng pigs.
PRRS case treatments: 1) Daitai (1 kg) + glucose (30
kg) + multivitamins, with a sufficient amount of water,
produced 1000 kg of drinkable mixture, which was given
to the pigs daily for seven days; 2) Tradition al treatment,
antivirus, antiphlogistic, rehydration, control of seconda-
ry infections.
3. Results
3.1. Routine Blood Test Results
In Table 1, conventional indices of the blood of the ex-
perimental pigs are within normal range. However, in the
control group, leukocyte count, red blood cell count, he-
moglobin, and deposited red blood cells were lower than
the normal reference index. The platelet index was
higher than the reference index by more than ten times.
Hemoglobin was of clinical significance, indicating mild
anemia or abnormal liver function. High platelet count
indicated the presence of myeloid proliferative diseases,
such as chronic granulocyte leukemia, and diseases indi-
cated by an increased number of true red blood cells,
such as early myelofibrosis, acute infection, and acute
hemolysis, as well as certain cancers.
3.2. Serum Biochemical Index Test
In Table 2 , sera extracted from the experimental pigs are
within normal range, as seen in the conventional index.
However, in the control group, aspertate aminotrans-
ferase and alkaline phosphatase were significantly higher
than the normal reference index, and the total protein
indicator index was lower than the normal references.
The clinical significance of high alkaline phosphatase is
biliary dysfunction, and high aspertate aminotransferase
indicates abnormal liver function. A low total protein
level results in water natrium retention. Generally, abnor-
mal liver function is the primary factor that results in low
total protein.
3.3. Cytokine Detection
In Figure 1, the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) content in
the experimental group is 32 times that of the control
group, and interleukin 2 (IL-2) content is 1.85 times that
of the control group. Therefore, after the addition of
Daitai to the experimental group feed, two serum cyto-
kine levels of this group evidently improved compared
with those of the control group.
3.4. Daitai Prevention PRRS Effect
A large number of pig farms went bankrupt because of
the PRRS outbreak in 2009. The mortality of pigs fed
with Daitai was significantly lower than that of the con-
trol group. Even after ictus, the use Daitai for PRRS
Table 1. Results of routine blood tests.
Red Blood
13.1 -
14.95 5.17 - 5.85 98.6 - 136 35 - 43150 - 450
Group 12.35 5.76 130 43 207
Group 11.4 4.87 78 30.541757
Table 2. Results of the serum biochemical index test.
Index 31-58 30-61 35-110 79-89
Group 44.1 57 74.7 79.3
Group 57.2 270.45 275.3 60.1
The normal reference index in Table 2 is from “Veterinary Medicine Labo-
ratory Test in g Technology” [4].
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. CM
treatment evidently yielded better outcomes compared
with the use of traditional treatments. An obviously low-
er attrition rate versus the control group was also obser-
ved (Figure 2).
4. Discussions
Routine blood and serum biochemical indicators of expe-
rimental pigs were within normal range (Tables 1 and 2).
In the control grou p, Daitai was not used, and the routine
blood and the serum biochemical indices were either
higher or lower than the normal reference index, a sub-
health state, indicating high susceptibility to the disease.
The use of TCM products for pigs ensured recuperation
through nonspecific immunity and improvement of con-
ditions. It also ensured that visceral function and routine
blood and biochemical indicators were within a normal
In the experimental group fed with Daitai, PRRS pre-
vention efficiency reached 93%, which was markedly
higher than that of the control group (53%). Moreover,
the cure rate reached 75%, also higher than that of the
control group (43%). An obviously lower attrition rate
was also observed versus the control group (Figures 2
and 3), which is related to routine blood and biochemical
indicators (Tables 1 and 2). This result can be attributable
to improved health, with each organ functioning normally,
as opposed to a sub-health state, wherein visceral
TNF-α IL-2
cytokine content
average value in
control pigs
average value in
experimental pigs
Figure 1. Cytokine detect ion results.
recovery ratethe attrition
experimental group
control group
Figure 2. Protection and attrition rates for experimental
and control pigs infected with PRRS.
functions are not normal. Therefore, with the use of Dai-
tai, the chances of contracting the disease are smaller.
To elaborate the effect of Daitai on PRRS prevention,
two primary cell factors (IL-2 and TNF alpha) were test-
ed in the experimental and the control swines.
IL-2 is the body’s most powerful T cell growth factor,
which safeguards normal immune functions, enhances T
cell killer activity through group-cloned amplification,
and improves and strengthens immune functions. Vari-
ous cells are induced or activated by IL-2 (such as toxic-
ity, CTL, LAK, NK, and TIL). LAK is lymphatic cell,
which, after contact with IL-2, produces efficient killer
cells with anti-tumor effects. IL-2 also affects B cell gr-
owth and differentiation, and stimulates macrophages,
improving their scavenging capability. IL-2 can also in-
duce T cells to secrete IFN-gamma, TNF, and CSF cell
TNF alpha is a mononuclear factor, which is primarily
produced by mononuclear cells and macrophages. In ad-
dition, neutrophils, LAK, satellite cells, en dothelial cells,
and smooth muscle cells can also produce TNF alpha
[5,6]. TNF can kill certain tumor cells (cytolytic action)
by inhibiting their proliferation action (cytostatic action)
in vitro and in vivo [7,8]. TNF can directly kill cancer
cells. TNF also has a similar IFN antiviral effect, pre-
venting early protein synthesis of the virus, thus inhibit-
ing virus replication and killing cells infected by the vi-
Figure 1 shows that the Daitai can increase IL-2 and
TNF alpha content of pig sera, which cannot only en-
hance organism nonspecific immunity functions, but can
also inhibit early protein synthesis of the virus, inh ibiting
duplication. Thus, the animal virus cannot survive. This
finding can also explain why the experimental group pigs
in Figure 2 can resist the attack of the PRRS virus effec-
tively at the cellular and th e molecular levels.
The TCM product, Daitai, has obvious clinical effects
on the prevention of PRRS, and this preventive effect
was tested through the continuous use of Daitai over one
month. The test proved that TCM constantly adjusts the
immune position of animals, improving organ functions
by mobilizing the immune system against external mi-
crobial infection. On the other hand, TCM plays an im-
portant role in enhancing various physiological animal
functions even in the absence of disease if used over a
period of time, by acting against external biological inva-
sion, which is really a good method for prevention in
terms of modern veterinary biological safety measures.
The “prevention first” concept should also be developed,
not just from the external environment, but by also consi-
dering the internal functions of animals. Although consi-
dering the external environment is important, external
biology only affects an animal’s body slightly, but if an
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. CM
Copyright © 2011 SciRes. CM
excellent living space is provided, animals enjoy a great
deal of benefits, and human beings also reap bigger and
longer-term breeding advantages.
In fact, studies on TCM therapy for viral diseases are
popular [9-15]. For the treatment of PRRS, many reports
on TCM are available, especially when its clinical effect
receives recognition from veterinary experts. This expe-
riment again proved that TCM indeed has a unique treat-
ment effect on viral diseases and can be used as a poten-
tial drug for treatment of future viral diseases when pro-
viding a new and convenient treatment approach is dif-
The detection of a large number of biochemical indi-
cators and cytokines may result in the improvement of
TCM products, but details on the nonspecific immunity
mechanism of TCM are still unclear. The Chinese medi-
cine theory is complex. To date, many scholars world-
wide are studying Chinese medicine. Therefore, although
the mechanism of the effects of Daitai in the adjustment
of the immune function in animals remains unknown,
perhaps the “overall, TCM theory of dialectical” myster-
ies may someday come to light, and the role of TCM in
the enhancement of Western medicine may be explained.
Science is science, despite limited evidence, and this
principle also holds true for TCM.
Daitai undeniably functioned as a form of TCM with
its system enhancing effect, which has yielded very good
outcomes in the prevention of PRRS, which benefitted
livestock producers.
5. References
[1] J. Wu, J. Wang, Y. Liu, W. Wang , X. Zha ng and D. Yoo ,
“Relationship between Herd Size and the Prevalence of
PRRS in Pig Herds in China,” Veterinary Record, Vol.
163, No. 3, 2008, pp. 90-91. doi:10.1136/vr.163.3.90
[2] K. Tian, X. Yu, T. Zhao, Y. Feng, Z. Cao, C. Wang, et al.,
“Emergence of Fatal PRRSV Variants: Unparalleled
Outbreaks of Atypical PRRS in China and Molecular
Dissection of the Unique Hallmark,” PLoS One, Vol. 2,
No. 6, 2007, p. e526. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000526
[3] S. H. Cha, E. J. Choi, J. H. Park, S. R. Yoon, J. Y. Song,
J. H. Kwon, et al., “Molecular Characterization of Recent
Korean Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome
(PRRS) Viruses and Comparison to Other Asian PRRS
Viruses,” Veterinary Microbiology, Vol. 117, No. 2-4,
2006, pp. 248-257. doi:10.1016/j.vetmic.2006.05.007
[4] J. D. Wang, “Veterinary Medicine Laboratory Testing
Technology,” Journal of Chinese Agricultural Science
and Technology Press, Vol. 1, 2005, pp. 185-186.
[5] M. Buttini, K. Appel, A. Sauter, P. J. Gebicke-Haerter
and H. W. Boddeke, “Expression of Tumor Necrosis
Factor Alpha after Focal Cerebral Is Chaemia in the Rat,”
Neuroscience, Vol. 71, No. 1, 1996, pp. 1-16.
[6] M. Pinzani, F. Marra and V. Carloni, “Signal Transduc-
tion in Hepatic Stellate Cells,” Liver, Vol. 18, No. 1,
1998, pp. 2-13. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0676.1998.tb00120.x
[7] R. F. Schwabe and D. A. Brenner, “Mechanisms of Liver
Injury. I. TNF-Alpha-Induced Liver Injury: Role of IKK,
JNK, and ROS Pathways,” American Journal of Physi-
ology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, Vol. 290,
No. 4, 2006, pp. 583-589.
[8] A. L. Siren, Y. Liu, G. Feuerstein and J. M. Hallenbeck,
“Increased Release of Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha into
the Cerebrospinal Fluid and Peripheral Circulation of
Aged Rats,” Stroke, Vol. 24, No. 6, 1993, pp. 880-886.
[9] Y. Liu, J. Liu, P. Yin, M. Gao, C. Deng and X. Y. Zhang,
“High Throughput Identification of Components from
Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs by Utilizing Gra-
phene or Graphene Oxide as MALDI-TOF-MS Matrix,”
Journal of Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 46, No. 8, 2011, pp.
804-815. doi:10.1002/jms.1952
[10] X. Cui, Y. Wang, N. Kokudo, D. Fang and W. Tang,
“Traditional Chinese Medicine and Related Active Com-
pounds against Hepatitis B Virus Infection,” BioScience
Trends, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2010, pp. 39-47.
[11] A. Li, Y. Xie, F. Qi, J. Li, P. Wang, S. Xu, et al.,
“Anti-Virus Effect of Traditional Chinese Medicine Yi-
Fu-Qing Granule on Acute Respiratory Tract Infections,”
BioScience Trends, Vol. 3, No. 4, 2009, pp. 119-123.
[12] S. H. Huang, X. L. Feng, L. L. Zhang, S. P. Xu, C. Y. Wu
and W. Wei, “Antiviral Effects of an Effective Section of
a Prescription of Traditional Chinese Medicine on Influ-
enza Virus A in vitro,” Zhong Yao Cai, Vol. 32, No. 3,
2009, pp. 391-394.
[13] Y. M. Li, H. Z. Yang, W. B. Guan, Q. S. Ke, M. Dai, H.
P. Xie, et al., “Therapeutic Effect of Traditional Chinese
Medicine on Coagulation Disorder and Accompanying
Intractable Jaundice in Hepatitis B Virus-Related Liver
Cirrhosis Patients,” World Journal of Gastroenterology,
Vol. 14, No. 39, 2008, pp. 6060-6064.
[14] H. Y. Cheng, H. H. Huang, C. M. Yang, L. T. Lin and C.
C. Lin, “The in vitro Anti-Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1
and Type-2 Activity of Long Dan Xie Gan Tan, a Pre-
scription of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” Chemo-
therapy, Vol. 54, No. 2, 2008, pp. 77-83.
[15] Y. H. Liu and J. C. Dong, “Progress in Pharmacotherapy
of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine
for Virus Infection in Respiratory Tract,” Zhong Xi Yi Jie
He Xue Bao, 2004, Vol. 2, No. 3, pp. 226-227.