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Prev Vet Med. 2006 Mar 16;73(4):241-54. Epub 2005 Sep 30.

Prevalence of Salmonella spp. on Canadian pig farms using liquid or dry-feeding.

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Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


The objective of this study was to determine whether the shedding and antibody titre to Salmonella was lower for pig herds provided liquid-feed compared to those on traditional dry rations. Twenty liquid-feeding farms and 61 dry-feeding farms were selected. The amount of antibodies to Salmonella in sera from 15 finisher pigs on each of 80 Ontario swine farms was analyzed by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In addition, the presence of Salmonella on the 20 liquid-feeding farms and 21 of the dry-feeding farms was assessed by culture of 15 fecal samples taken directly from finisher pigs and five pooled pen-fecal samples at each farm. A cut-off of OD% 10 was used. The Salmonella sero-prevalence differed between the two groups of farms. At least one pig tested sero-positive on 98% of the dry-feeding farms and 84% of the liquid-feeding farms (P<0.05). A multi-variable mixed linear regression model with the farm as a random variable and farm factors as the fixed effects was fitted. Crude optical density (OD) of the individual pig was considered as the continuous dependent variable. Dry-feeding and antimicrobial daily usage was associated with crude OD (P<0.05). In addition, crude OD increased with increasing herd size (P<0.05). Salmonella was isolated from 25 out of 420 fecal samples (6%) from dry-feeding farms compared to three out of 400 samples (0.8%) from liquid-feeding farms. Eight of the dry-feeding farms (38%) tested positive compared to only three of the liquid-feeding farms (15%). Salmonella was also recovered from the pen environment on five dry-feeding farms but were not isolated from the facilities using liquid-feeding. Salmonella Typhimurium was isolated from four farms in the dry-feed group and on one farm with liquid-feeding. The one S. Typhimurium isolate from the liquid-feeding farm exhibited no antimicrobial resistance, but those from dry-feeding farms were resistant to four or more antimicrobial agents. The results of the logistic regression, with farm as a random effect showed that dry-feeding [OR=2.7 (1.1-15.1)] and continuous flow system [OR=2.3 (1.2-12.7)] increased risk of finding Salmonella in the individual pig. These findings indicate that liquid-feeding and all-in all-out management of the grower-finisher barns can reduce the Salmonella prevalence.

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