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Vet Res. 2001 Nov-Dec;32(6):591-600.

Contamination of pigs by nose-to-nose contact or airborne transmission of Salmonella Typhimurium.

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AFSSA Ploufragan, Zoopĵle Beaucemaine, France.


The aim of this study is to assess the risk of contamination by Salmonella Typhimurium of pigs by nose-to-nose contact or the airborne route. Thirty twelve-week-old SPF pigs were divided into 4 groups housed in 4 different rooms: the first room contained Salmonella-free control pigs (n = 4), the second room had 10(3) CFU S. Typhimurium inoculated pigs (n = 5) and non-inoculated "contact" pigs (n = 4), the third room had pigs (n = 8) receiving potentially contaminated air from the following room through a hole (4 pigs housed in the pen situated near the hole and 4 pigs in the pen at the opposite side of the room), and the fourth room had pigs (n = 5) inoculated with 10(6) CFU Salmonella Typhimurium and also non inoculated "contact" pigs (n = 4). The "contact" and the inoculated pigs were housed in adjacent pens allowing nose-to-nose contact. The 5 pigs orally inoculated with 10(6) CFU S. Typhimurium were bacteriologically and serologically positive 1 week later and their environment was contaminated as early as 1 day pi. The faecal samples of 4 nose-to-nose contact pigs were bacteriologically positive and one of them was seropositive 5 weeks pi before the pigs were commingled. The 8 pigs housed in the third room received S. Typhimurium by an active airflow coming from the contaminated room (1000 m3/hour). Their faecal samples remained negative until 8 weeks pi but the environmental swabs taken in the room close to the airinlet were contaminated 2 days pi and positive swabs were found elsewhere in the room 5 weeks pi. Two seropositive pigs were encountered 8 weeks pi in the pen situated near the hole. Only one among the 5 pigs inoculated with 10(3) CFU had bacteriologically positive faeces 1-week pi and the 4 pigs kept in nose-to-nose contact with them remained negative. A dose of 10(3) CFU was too small to induce persistent excretion and to stimulate a humoral immune response. However, the dose of 10(6) CFU induced contamination of nose-to-nose contact pigs and contamination of the environment by airflow.

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