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Transbound Emerg Dis. 2014 Oct;61(5):477-81. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12049. Epub 2013 Jan 7.

A serological survey of Brucella spp., Salmonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp. in Iberian fattening pigs reared in free-range systems.

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  • 1CICAP - Agrifood Research Centre, Córdoba, Spain.


Zoonotic agents such as Brucella spp., Salmonella spp., Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella spp., all considered high-risk zoonotic pathogens by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), may cause no symptoms of infection in free-range pigs yet still have a significant public health impact. A serological survey was therefore performed to determine the history of occurrence of these pathogens in such pigs in southern Spain. A total of 709 serum samples were collected at abattoir from pigs from 79 farms and analysed for specific antibodies against the above pathogens using commercially available ELISA kits. Encysted Trichinella spp. larvae were also sought following the artificial digestion method of diaphragm pillar muscle. The results showed Salmonella spp. to be widely distributed among the sampled herds [73.42%, 95% confidence interval (CI95 ) 65.6-81.78] and Toxoplasma gondii to be present in over half (58.23%, CI95 47.33-69.07). The seroprevalence of Brucella spp. was very low (3.8%, CI95 0.18-7.42), and antibodies against Trichinella spp. were not detected. No encysted Trichinella spp. larvae were microscopically detected.

© 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Brucella; Salmonella; Toxoplasma gondii; free-range pigs; seroprevalence; zoonoses

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