Most Common Pig Disease in Canada: Streptococcus Suis

CANADA - The manager of the Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network reports 'strep suis' continues to top the list of infections swine veterinarians in Canada are dealing with, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 5 November 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

Veterinarians participating in Canada's national swine health surveillance system held their Canadian Swine Health Intelligence Network western Canadian quarterly swine specialist panel last week.

Dr Chris Byra, a swine veterinarian with Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Service and manager of components of CSHIN reports Streptococcus suis, a bacterial infection, that primarily affects baby pigs to about eight to 10 weeks old, continues to be the most common problem.

Dr Chris Byra - Greenbelt Swine Veterinary Service:

In our discussions we said that most of our clients who are having trouble with this disease, which causes sudden death and meningitis in young pigs, the farmers that are having problems with this have come to live with it but the solutions haven't been very good.

Somewhat it's influenced by the environment in the barn. Kind of a moist warm environment tends to cause the disease to proliferate.

First you have to have a fair amount of the organism around and control has generally been with antibiotics so we are trying to encourage research into finding other solutions, vaccination solutions and perhaps other means of controlling the disease.

We'd rather not use an antibiotic to control this disease and find alternate methods of either controlling it by proper perfect environments and also vaccinations if possible in the quest to reduce any amount of antibiotic use in the farms.

Dr Byra says trials have shown young piglets that are getting exposed to large amounts of bacteria have difficulty developing immunity.

He says that while efforts are underway to develop a vaccine to protect pigs from this organism, in the past vaccines have not helped very much.

Further Reading

Find out more information on streptococcal infections in pigs by clicking here.

Charlotte Rowney

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