Book Contents

1.4 Who gets Ileitis?

The main host species affected by Lawsonia intracellularis around the world is the domestic pig. Naturally occurring bacteria resembling the original pig isolates have been identified in the following host species on a regular basis: horses, particularly foals, laboratory hamsters, and farmed ostrich and deer. On rare occasions, these bacteria have also been identified in ferrets, dogs, guinea pigs, fox, rabbit, rat, rhesus monkey, hedge hog, giraffe, calves and emus.

Lawsonia intracellularis has never been identi­fied in humans with enteric disease, even those with Crohn’s disease or related enteric diseases, so it is therefore not considered a zoonosis. No infection of humans with Lawsonia intracellularis has ever been recorded. Studies in humans examining colonic flora, colonic lesions, serum antibodies and histological lesions of colonic disease have failed to find any link with Law­sonia intracellularis infection in pigs or other animals.

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