Diminution of Campylobacter Colonization in Neonatal Pigs Reared Off-Sow

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Pigs may be a natural reservoir of Campylobacter and can be colonized as early as 24 h after birth. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate what effect early removal of piglets from Campylobacter-positive sows has on Campylobacter prevalence in neonates. In two trials, piglets were removed from sows within 24 h of birth and were reared in nurseries isolated from sows for 21 days. From the neonates rectal swabs were cultured for Campylobacter, and Campylobacter status of the isolated piglets was compared to that of littermates reared on sows. The nurseries consisted of wire-floored farrowing crates that were equipped with heaters and self-feeders. In trial I, the Campylobacter prevalence in nursery-reared piglets was 13 of 14 on day 2 and 0 of 14 on day 20. Campylobacter prevalence in the sow-reared piglets was 8 of 9 from days 2 to 20. In trial II, 12 of 29 on day 2, and 5 of 26 on day 20, of the nursery-reared piglets were culture positive for Campylobacter. For the sow-reared piglets, Campylobacter prevalence was 7 of 15 on day 1 and 15 of 15 (100%) on day 20. These data suggest that successful permanent colonization of the gut by Campylobacter is probably related to constant exposure of piglets to Campylobacter-positive feces. Campylobacter prevalence may be diminished in neonates that are reared off-sow in isolated nurseries.

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, College Station, Texas 77845 2: Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2000

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