Diarrhoea in neonatal piglets: A case control study on microbiological findings

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Background: Many factors can influence the occurrence of neonatal diarrhoea in piglets. Currently, well-known pathogens such as enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens type C appear to play a minor role in development of disease. Other infectious pathogens may be involved. In this study, we aimed to investigate the presence of selected infectious pathogens in neonatal piglets with clinical and pathological signs of enteric disease. The association between rotavirus A, Enterococcus hirae, Clostridium difficile and Clostridium perfringens type A/C and diarrhoea was investigated in a case control study on piglet level. The possible role of E. coli virulence factors was investigated in a multistep-procedure using herd-pools of E.coli isolates to screen for their presence. Results: Rotavirus A was detected more often in cases (25%) than in controls (6%) (P<0.001). The detection rate of Enterococcus hirae, Clostridium difficile and C. perfringens type A positive for beta2 genes was the same in the two groups of piglets. C. perfringens type C was not detected in the study. Investigations on E. coli virulence factors showed a high prevalence of EAST1 toxin genes (55% of tested case piglets were positive) and AIDA-1 adhesin genes (63% of toxin positive case piglets were positive) in case piglets. Conclusions: Detection of rotavirus A was statistically significantly associated with neonatal piglet diarrhoea. An aetiologic role of E. coli carrying virulence factors EAST1 and AIDA-1 needs further investigation as the study points out these two factors as possible causative factors in neonatal diarrhoea. Detection of E.hirae, C.difficile and C. perfringens type A carrying beta 2 genes was not associated with neonatal piglet diarrhoea. However, the study suggested that massive overgrowth by E. hirae could be part of the pathogenesis in some cases of neonatal diarrhoea.

TidsskriftPorcine Health Management
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 3 sep. 2018
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 247393369