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HEAL ▶▶▶TH


Shedding new light on Salmonella in pig farms


Salmonella is an increasing problem in European pig farms and this is worrying because of the danger of it spreading to humans. It is a complex multifactorial condition, and various control methods are being tried. Work in Germany has shown that it is possible to eliminate the disease from commercial herds.


BY DR KATHRIN LILLIE-JASCHNISKI, VETERINARY SERVICE MANAGER EU ZONE, CEVA ANIMAL HEALTH


S


almonella Typhimurium – whose natural host is the mouse – tends to be the most problematic on pig farms where it is easily transmitted to pigs, humans and other species. It is very resilient; it can survive in


dust for up to four years, for instance, which makes control very difficult. In humans it can cause severe disease, depending on the health status of the person infected and the infectious dose. The same applies to pigs. Most farms don’t see severe clini- cal signs but if the infectious pressures rise, then severe scouring can occur in the nursery section leading to diar- rhoea in weaners – which is hard to control – or an in- creased number of runts. Herds on some farms even show classic signs of clinical salmonellosis which, in pigs, is normally only seen with the typical serovar affecting swine, being Salmonella Choleraesuis.


Monitoring procedure Due to European legislation, in Germany a procedure to moni- tor slaughtered pigs has been instigated through the German quality and safety (QS) system. Most German farms deliver their finished pigs within the QS system. The Salmonella moni- toring is done by serological samples taken either two weeks before slaughter or as meat-juice samples directly at slaughter. Farms delivering over 200 pigs a year must provide 60 sam- ples annually, equally spaced throughout the 12-month peri- od. The farms are then categorised from category 1 (the best) to category 3 (the worst) by the number of positive samples checked by ELISA test. Despite farms in the ‘bad’ category being obliged to imple- ment control measures to reduce Salmonella pressures, the overall number of positive samples has continued to rise. The main reason is that finishing farms are at the end of the pro- duction chain; if they buy infected piglets they cannot solve the problem at its root, even if they try. The infection should be stopped at the beginning. Sows shedding Salmonella bacteria are an important source of infection among piglets.


Collecting boot swabs with a boot and a sock on one foot. 18


ting boot swabs with a boot and a sock on one foot. ▶PIG PROGRESS | Volume 36, No. 4, 2020


Walk along in each pen in the compartment, include edges with faeces


PHOTOS: CEVA


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