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Farm Level Risk Factors Associated with Severity of PMWS

by 5m Editor
3 August 2011, at 12:00am

Environmental and management factors were found to be related to post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) severity and pathogens other than porcine circovirus (PCV) are possible co-factors, according to researchers at the UK's Royal Veterinary College.

Pablo Alarcon and colleagues at the Royal Veterinary College in London investigated the risk factors at farm level associated with the severity of PMWS. Their paper has been published in the online version of the journal, Preventative Veterinary Medicine.

The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study involving 147 pig farms across England in 2008–2009. Farm severity of PMWS was estimated through the use of an algorithm that combined data on post-weaning mortality, PMWS morbidity and proportion of porcine circovirus type 2 PCR-positive pigs. Farms were classified as non/slightly, moderately or highly affected by PMWS. Data on potential PMWS risk factors were collected through interviews, on-farm assessment and serological sampling. Risk factors were identified using multivariable ordinal logistic regression and multivariable linear regression.

Factors associated with increased PMWS severity were rearing growers indoors (OR=23.7), requiring a higher number of veterinarian visits per year (OR=9.6), having poorly isolated hospital pens (OR=6.4), buying replacement boars (OR=4.8) and seropositivity to Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (OR=4.29). Factors associated with decreased PMWS severity were low stocking density for growers (OR=0.07), adjusting diets at least three times between weaning and 14 weeks of age (OR=0.12) and requiring visitors to be at least two days pig-free (OR=0.14).

This study provides evidence of the association between environmental and management factors and PMWS severity, and suggests that other pathogens may be important co-factors for the disease, concluded Alarcon and colleagues. They added that the study highlights the potential efficacy of biosecurity measures in the reduction/prevention of within-farm PMWS severity.


Alarcon P., M. Velasova, A. Mastin, A. Nevel, K.D.C. Stärk and B. Wieland. 2011. Farm level risk factors associated with severity of post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 101 3-4): 182-191. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.06.001

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on Post-Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) by clicking here.

August 2011