Management Practices Associated with the Carriage of Yersinia enterocolitica in Pigs

A survey of Finnish pig farms reveals that the prevalence of the foodborne pathogen, Yersinia enterocolitica, on pig farms is reduced where there is an all-in, all-out housing system and where water is supplied from the municipal system.
calendar icon 4 July 2013
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Pigs are the most important reservoir of Yersinia enterocolitica infections in humans, report M.J. Vilar and colleagues at the University of Helsinki in Finland in a paper published in the journal, Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.

They say that knowledge of farm management practices that contribute to the transmission of this bacterial species in pigs is essential to understand how to control this foodborne pathogen in food production.

The prevalence of Y. enterocolitica and other results obtained from an age trend analysis were used to estimate the on-farm risk of transmission of specific management practices for this pathogen in 30 pig farms in Finland.

Log-linear analysis revealed that rearing pigs in pens without or with sparse amounts of bedding and buying piglets from more than one farm were the variables that contribute most to the occurrence of Y. enterocolitica.

The study also found that using an all-in/all-out management system and supplying water of municipal origin were factors that might reduce the prevalence of Y. enterocolitica, and therefore the risk of transmission of the pathogen on pig farms, concluded Vilar and colleagues.


Vilar M.J., S. Virtanen, M. Heinonen and H. Korkeala. 2013. Management practices associated with the carriage of Yersinia enterocolitica in pigs at farm level. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 10(7):595-602. doi:10.1089/fpd.2012.1443

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July 2013

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