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Effect of New Neonatal Porcine Diarrhoea Syndrome on Daily Gain and Mortality in Four Danish Pig Herds

03 June 2014

New research from Denmark indicates that New Neonatal Porcine Diarrhoea Syndrome (NNPDS) severely affects the well-being in piglets and reduced their growth rate if it lasted more than one day. However, it was not always associated with increased mortality.

A recent study by Hanne Kongsted of the Danish Pig Research Centre and others evaluated the effect of NNPDS on average daily gain and mortality and described the clinical manifestations in four herds suffering from the syndrome.

In their paper in BMC Veterinary Research, they say that NNPDS is a diarrhoeic syndrome affecting piglets within the first week of life, which is not caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), Clostridium perfringens type A/C, Clostridium difficile, rotavirus A, coronavirus, Cystoisospora suis, Strongyloides ransomi, Giardia spp or Cryptosporidium spp.

Piglets were estimated to have a negative average daily gain of 9 and 14g when diarrhoeic for one day and more than one day, respectively.

However, if only diarrhoeic on the day of birth, no negative effect on average daily gain was seen.

Piglets originating from severely affected litters were estimated to have a lower average daily gain of 38g.

The study did not show an overall effect of diarrhoea on mortality but herd of origin, sow parity, birth weight and gender were significantly associated with mortality.

In one of the herds, approximately 25 per cent of the diarrhoeic piglets versus six per cent of the non-diarrhoeic piglets died, and 74 per cent of necropsied piglets were diagnosed with enteritis. These findings indicate that the high mortality seen in this herd was due to diarrhoea.

Kongsted and co-authors report that NNPDS negatively affected average daily gain in piglets, and even piglets that were diarrhoeic for one day only experienced a reduction in average daily gain. However, their study showed that diarrhoea only on the day of birth did not affect average daily gain and suggested this phenomenon to be unrelated to the syndrome.

Since the diarrhoeal status of the litter had important effects on average daily gain, future research on NNPDS probably ought to focus on piglets from severely affected litters, they added.

The study showed important dissimilarities in the course of diarrhoea between the herds, and one herd was considerably more affected than the others. Within this herd, NNPDS seemed to be associated with a higher mortality, whereas in general, the study did not show lethal effects of NNPDS, concluded Kongsted and co-authors.


Kongsted H., H. Stege, N. Toft and J.P. Nielsen. 2014. The effect of New Neonatal Porcine Diarrhoea Syndrome (NNPDS) on average daily gain and mortality in four Danish pig herds. BMC Veterinary Research. 10:90. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-90

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June 2014

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