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Eur J Epidemiol. 2000 Feb;16(2):141-6.

Salmonella in slaughter pigs of German origin: an epidemiological study.

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  • 1Bundesinstitut für gesundheitlichen Verbraucherschutz und Veterinärmedizin, Berlin, Germany.


The Salmonella prevalence in slaughter pigs of German origin was determined in seven abattoirs located in different regions of the country between February and June 1996. A total of 11,942 pigs delivered to the abattoirs in 752 batches, most of them comprised of pigs from individual finishing farms, was investigated by the bacteriological examination of faecal and gut lymph node samples, as well as of surface swabs taken from the carcasses. Salmonellae were isolated from 3.7% of the faecal samples, 3.3% of the lymph nodes and 4.7% of the surface swabs. The estimated overall prevalence of Salmonellae was 6.2% in the slaughter pigs, ranging between 1.9% and 12% in individual abattoirs. In the samples taken from carcasses, the estimated prevalence of Salmonellae reached 10.3%. 648 out of 752 batches could be included in a statistical analysis. No Salmonellae were detected in nearly 70 percent of the batches included in this analysis (n = 648). High Salmonella prevalences of more than 50 percent positive animals were detected only in 13 batches (2.0%). A statistically significant influence of the duration of the transport of slaughter pigs to the abattoirs or the waiting period in the abattoirs prior to slaughter could not be detected.

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