Report of APP Causing 10 Per Cent Finisher Mortality

UK - The Monthly Scanning Surveillance Report for June 2009 from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) highlights Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP) causing increased mortality in finishing pigs, and colibacillosis in piglets exacerbated by an earlier rotavirus infection.
calendar icon 5 August 2009
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Alimentary Tract Diseases


Three 10-day-old pigs that had recently started to scour were submitted live to Bury. Piglets were reported to show reduced growth rates from 10 to 20- days-old and then to pick up again. Post-mortem examination revealed reddening of the small intestine with no specific mucosal lesions. Pathogenic E. coli strain V189 (serotype O108: K'V189) was isolated from the intestines of two of the piglets. However, histopathology revealed severe villus atrophy suggestive of earlier rotaviral infection.

Respiratory Diseases

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

Two pigs found dead were submitted to Bury to investigate an upsurge in respiratory disease on a 700-sow indoor breeder-finisher unit. There had been on-going respiratory disease problems after pigs entered finishing houses at 12 to 14 weeks of age. More recently, younger pigs around 11- weeks-old were affected with coughing, sneezing, some ocular discharges and some deaths. Mortality from weaning to slaughter was regularly greater than 10 per cent. Sows were vaccinated with PCV2; rearing pigs were vaccinated for PRRSV and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. Gross lesions in all three pigs were consistent with acute Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and APP was isolated. PRRS virus RNA was also detected in the spleen of one of the pigs and immunohistochemistry is in progress on the lungs to determine the degree of PRRSV involvement. There was no evidence of PCV2 or swine influenza virus.

Nervous Diseases

Salt poisoning/water deprivation

Salt poisoning/water deprivation was confirmed as the cause of tremors and staggering in a group of five to six-week-old piglets investigated by Bury. Pigs were housed in seven tents of which only one tent of smaller pigs, which had been scouring, was affected. Pigs were found dull, recumbent and shaking. The weather was hot and the pigs had been noted to be lethargic. These factors, together with the pigs' increased need for fluid due to the scour, could have predisposed to water deprivation. Two were submitted for post mortem examination in which there were no remarkable gross lesions and no significant bacteria were isolated; histopathology confirmed the diagnosis.

Other Diseases


The carcass of a 190-kg boar was presented to Shrewsbury for post-mortem examination with a history of hind limb paresis, in which the boar could walk once standing but was unable to get up unaided. Post-mortem examination revealed avulsion of the head of the right femur confirming a diagnosis of epiphysiolosis.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on the diseases mentioned in this article by clicking here.
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