The Effect of Lairage on Salmonella Isolation from Market Swine

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The objective of this paper was to evaluate the effect of lairage (holding >12 h during transport to slaughter) in clean facilities on Salmonella isolation from market swine. We tested 30 market-bound pigs (about 240 lb [110 kg]) on each of 10 occasions from an Iowa farrow-to-finish operation with about 600 sows. All pigs were slaughtered, and samples were collected at a large Midwest abattoir. On the farm, fecal samples were collected for culture of Salmonella. Pigs were alternately assigned to a lairage treatment (holding in a clean, disinfected facility at the National Animal Disease Center) group or a control group (remaining on the farm). After about 18 h, both groups were transported (about 137 km) to a large Midwest abattoir, commingled, and slaughtered. After slaughter, samples were collected for culture of Salmonella (feces from the distal colon, ileocecal lymph nodes, cecal contents, ventral thoracic lymph nodes, subiliac lymph nodes, and carcass swabs). Diaphragm sections were collected for serum ELISA. Salmonella enterica Derby was the only serotype isolated from farm fecal samples (3.4%, 10 of 290). Multiple serotypes (n = 17) were isolated from 71.8% (196 of 273) of the pigs when abattoir-collected samples were cultured: cecal contents (21.2%, 58 of 273), distal colon contents (52%, 142 of 273), and ileocecal lymph nodes (43.6%, 119 of 273). There were lower Salmonella isolation rates from the lairaged pigs (P < 0.05). The predominant serotype isolated at the abattoir varied by week of the study. This study suggests that pigs became internally contaminated with Salmonella after leaving the farm, possibly while in the abattoir holding pens, and that 18 h lairage, in clean facilities, does not increase shedding.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pre-Harvest Food Safety and Enteric Diseases, National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA 2: Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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