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Effect of Short-Term Lairage on the Prevalence of Salmonella enterica in Cull Sows

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This study was designed to compare Salmonella enterica prevalence in sows held in a holding pen at the abattoir for approximately 2 h (hold sows) with sows slaughtered immediately after transport to the abattoir (no-hold sows). Cull sows (n = 160) were sampled from four sampling periods over 8 weeks (February to March 2002) at the abattoir. Sows originated from an integrated swine farm and were sent to a live-hog market and then to the slaughter facility. Before testing, sows entered the abattoir pen and four 100-cm2 four-ply gauze squares were placed randomly on the pen floor for S. enterica culture. Sows were alternatively assigned to the hold or no-hold group. Samples collected from sows during slaughter were ileocecal lymph node, cecal contents, transverse colon contents, subiliac lymph node, sponge swabs of the left and right carcass section (300 cm2), and chopped meat. Overall, S. enterica was isolated from 44% (35 of 80) of the no-hold sows, which was significantly less (P < 0.05) than 59% (47 of 80) of the held sows. Also, no-hold sows had a lower cecal content prevalence (39%, 31 of 80) compared with that (55%, 44 of 80) of held sows (P < 0.05). S. enterica serovars isolated from no-hold sows were Brandenburg (n = 16), Derby (n = 12), Hadar (n = 8), Infantis (n = 6), Johannesburg (n = 3), 6,7:z10-monophasic (n = 3), and Typhimurium (n = 1). S. enterica serovars isolated from held sows (n = 61 isolates) were Derby (n = 19), 6,7: z10-monophasic (n = 15), Brandenburg (n = 10), Infantis (n = 6), Hadar (n = 5), Johannesburg (n = 4), and Tennessee (n = 2). Serovars recovered from the pen were Reading (n = 6), Derby (n = 4), Uganda (n = 2), and Manhattan (n = 2). Results of this study suggest that holding pens contribute to increased S. enterica carriage in cull sows. Abattoir holding pens might be an important control point for S. enterica in the ground pork production chain.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, Ames, Iowa 50011 2: Pre-Harvest Food Safety and Enteric Diseases Research Unit,National Animal Disease Center, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, P.O. Box 70, Ames, Iowa 50010, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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