VLA: Salmonellosis Kills Thirteen Pigs Overnight

UK - According to Defra's VLA Monthly Scanning Surveillance Report for July 2009, eight-week old pigs were found dead overnight as a result of salmonellosis.
calendar icon 11 September 2009
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Alimentary tract diseases


Thirteen out of 800 eight-week-old pigs were found dead overnight in outdoor cosikennels on a unit where pigs were weaned outdoors from an indoor breeding unit. Other age pigs were healthy. Four dead pigs were submitted to Bury and in three of these the necropsy findings comprised a necrotising typhlocolitis suspicious of salmonellosis. Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 120 was isolated by direct culture from the intestines confirming the diagnosis.

Thirsk carried out a Salmonella advisory visit on a 250-sow breeder finisher unit with a history of clinical salmonellosis associated with S. Typhimurium in finishing pigs. The farm had experienced an outbreak of clinical salmonellosis from which Salmonella Typhimurium U288 had been isolated. The investigation revelealed a number of areas requiring attention including a large mouse population and the continued presence of salmonellae in buildings after depopulation and cleaning indicating inadequate disinfection.

Other diseases


An adult breeding boar was submitted to Bury having been culled after being stiff on its back legs for two weeks. The boar was in good body condition and the cause of hind limb stiffness was found to be a very severe fibrinopurulent arthritis associated with epiphysiolysis in the left hip. In the right limb there was also a serofibrinous arthritis with sinuses of fibrinopurulent material discharging into subcutaneous tissues associated with the stifle and hock. No Mycoplasma species were detected and no significant bacteria were isolated, probably due to the antibiotic treatment which had been given.


Clinical signs of wasting and respiratory disease (thumping but not coughing) developed in approximately 10 per cent of pigs aged 12 to 24 weeks over a two week period. The pigs were outdoor reared and the older pigs showed some lameness. Two 24-week-old pigs and one 12-week-old pig underwent necropsy at Bury. All three had valvular endocarditis of the left atrioventricular valve with diffuse pulmonary oedema and congestion. The two older pigs both had pericarditis and epicarditis as well as a chronic synovitis with one pig having fibrin strands within excessive joint fluid. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was isolated from the valvular lesions in the two older pigs and was presumed also to be the cause of endocarditis in the younger pig. There was no evidence of underlying PCV2 or PRRSV infection. The pigs were not tail docked or tooth clipped, however ear notching was a possible route of infection.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.
- Find out more information on the diseases mentioned by clicking here.
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