Impact and control of ileitis, colitis on European swine is focus of international workshop

by 5m Editor
22 July 2004, at 12:00am

SWITZERLAND - The impact of ileitis and colitis on European swine production was the focus of a workshop help recently by Novartis Animal Health in Alpbach, Austria.


Over 50 swine veterinarians from countries throughout Europe attended the workshop where they had the opportunity to hear presentations from leading ileitis and colitis experts:

Prof. Connie Gebhart, University of Minnesota; Prof. Steven McOrist, QAF Meat Industries; Australia; Prof. Gerald Duhamel, University of Nebraska; Prof. Jill Thomson, Scottish Agriculture College Edinburgh; Prof. Claes Fellström, University of Agricultural Science Uppsala, Sweden; and Dr. Tim Kare Jensen, Danish Institute for Food & Veterinary Research.

The workshop was the first of its kind organized by Novartis and received an excellent response from attendees, who learned about the latest methods and strategies for controlling ileitis and colitis.

Up-to-Date Information

Prof. Dr. Pedro Rubio Nistal, University of Leon, said the workshop was, “A broad and in-depth review of the most current information regarding swine digestive pathology.“

Dr. Thomson, Edinburgh, who spoke on control of porcine colonic spirochaetosis, called it a unique event. “It provided a forum for European swine practitioners to meet colleagues with a specific interest in ileitis and colitis and hear up-to-date research information on these conditions. Current opinions on the best methods to prevent and control ileitis and colitis were discussed in relation to the epidemiology and pathogenesis,“ she said.

Dr. Hubert Frohne-Brinkmann, a swine veterinarian from Germany, said, “Brachyspira pilosicoli is more important than I expected. Reviewing some cases of enteric infections in the past, Brachyspira pilosicoli could have been the causative agent of the problem.“

Affect Pigs Worldwide

Dr. Ulrich Klein, International Technical Services Manager for Novartis, explained that ileitis in swine is due to the pathogen Lawsonia intracellularis, while colitis in swine is caused by the pathogen Brachyspira pilosicoli. Both diseases affect pigs worldwide.

Ileitis causes clinical problems ranging from mild diarrhoea to death. Colitis is seldom fatal, but causes diarrhoea and poor weight gain and feed efficiency. Mixed infections are not uncommon and colitis in particular is often seen along with swine dysentery caused by B. hyodysenteriae.

“Enteric disease leads to costly production and economic losses for pork producers. Although it has long been known that spirochaetes play an important role in swine enteric infections, the importance of Brachyspira pilosicoli and colitis especially has been underappreciated“, Dr. Klein noted.

“Effective control of enteric disease in pigs has always been a challenge“, he says. “It is difficult to get a clear-cut diagnosis because more than one pathogen is often involved. We have also seen the emergence of highly resistant spirochaete strains in some areas of the world.“

Effective Control

Numerous controlled studies as well as field experience, however, demonstrate that a relatively new class of antibiotics known as pleuromutilins can effectively control of enteric disease in swine. Econor® Medicated Premix (valnemulin) and Tiamutin® (tiamulin), manufactured by Novartis, belong to the pleuromutilin group of antibiotics, he says.

Valnemulin is the newer of the two and has been approved in the European Union for preventing and treating swine dysentery as well as enzootic pneumonia. Recently it was approved for treating ileitis and preventing spirochaetal colitis in growing and finishing pigs, according to Novartis.

Dr. Klein says: “It is very helpful to have a medication that covers most of the key pathogens that cause enteric disease in swine.“

“ Treatment with valnemulin controls enteric diseases effectively during medication which prevent re-establishing of the infection post-medication.,“ he notes.

Used Exclusively in Animals

There are other advantages. Econor has a 1 day withdrawal period, which gives pig farmers more flexibility with pig production flow and marketing. And Pleuromutilins are used exclusively in animals and not humans, which reduces concerns about the development of antibiotic-resistant infections in people.

For more information about Econor prevention and treatment programs, go to or contact Novartis Animal Health Inc., Basel, Switzerland.

Source: Novartis Animal Health - 19th July 2004

5m Editor