Book Contents

5.1 Laboratory diagnosis of Ileitis

It is important to obtain a correct diagnosis of the cause of diarrhoea or poor performance problems in a group of affected pigs. Samples are collected from suspected animals and sent to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory for examination. In case of Ileitis, this means that blood samples are essential to look for serum antibodies against Lawsonia intracellularis. Faecal samples should preferably be taken to look for stained bacteria or the DNA of Lawsonia intracellularis (this organism cannot routinely be cultured from faeces). An autopsy should be performed on sick pigs immediately after euthanasia to check for the typical morphologic lesions of Ileitis. At the same time, these samples need to be checked for other possible causes of diarrhoea such as Brachyspira, Salmonella and E. Coli. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, vaccination and other management steps can be taken on the farm to remedy the problem.

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