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Campylobacters are small curved rods which are present sometimes in large numbers in the small intestines and large intestines of most mammals including pigs. There are several species in pigs. Whether or not they cause diarrhoea in naturally reared piglets is debatable because it seems likely that the antibodies in sows milk would prevent this. However oral infections to newborn colostrum-deprived piglets may result in mild diarrhoea with mucus and sometimes blood in it. Spiral helicobacter species, related to campylobacters, may be found adhering to the stomach wall of pigs and in and around gastric ulcers. However, many other factors contribute to stomach ulcers in pigs and it seems unlikely that helicobacters are a primary cause.


  • Mild, sometimes creamy, diarrhoea in piglets lasting several days if untreated.
  • Dehydration.
  • Sometimes diarrhoea with blood and mucous.
  • Loss body condition.
Sows, Weaners & Growers
  • N/A

Causes / Contributing factors

  • Dirty pens.
  • Poor hygiene in farrowing pens.
  • Poor wet floor surfaces.
  • Continually used houses without cleaning and disinfection.
  • Secondary infection to other enteric organisms.


This is difficult because campylobacters are so common in faeces along with other organisms which can cause diarrhoea such as, E.coli, rotaviruses, coccidia and crytosporidia and it is impossible to decide whether their isolation is significant in any particular outbreak.

Further Reading

Click on the links below to find out more about this disease, including treatment, management control and prevention information. The top link is the main article on this disease.