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BMC Vet Res. 2018 Nov 21;14(1):362. doi: 10.1186/s12917-018-1687-6.

Listeriosis in fattening pigs caused by poor quality silage - a case report.

Author information

1
University Clinic for Swine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
2
Current address: Vetpraxis Hegerberg, Kasten, Austria.
3
Institute of Milk Hygiene, Milk Technology and Food Science, Department of Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
4
Institute of Pathology and Forensic Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
5
Institute of Microbiology, Department of Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
6
University Clinic for Swine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria. lukas.schwarz@vetmeduni.ac.at.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Listeria (L.) monocytogenes as the causative agent of listeriosis in humans and different animal species, has its reservoir in the environment. It can be found in the gut and faeces of healthy pigs, but under certain circumstances it may cause clinical disease. Fatteners are usually not known to get affected by Listeria-associated septicaemia and enteritis. This case report shows, that L. monocytogenes should be part of the list of differential diagnoses, when fattening pigs suffer from haemorrhagic diarrhoea and septicaemia.

CASE PRESENTATION:

Here, we report of an episode of fatal listeriosis in fattening pigs in a piglet producing farm in Lower Austria, which was combined with a fattening unit with space for 450 fatteners. The mortality rate resulted in 7.8% among fattening pigs after suffering from clinical symptoms such as anorexia, bloody diarrhoea and increased body temperature. Two fattening pigs with clinical symptoms and maize silage samples were used for further diagnostics. L. monocytogenes were isolated from serosa samples of the pigs and in the corresponding fed maize silage. One animal was positively tested for Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, which may have also been involved in the development of colitis. Immunohistochemically, L. monocytogenes could be detected in high amounts in lymphatic tissue of the gut. Molecular biological characterisation of the L. monocytogenes isolates from pigs and maize silage resulted in an identical DNA-fingerprint assigned to sequence type (ST) 21. Additionally, a high content of deoxynivalenol (3000 parts per billion) was found in maize silage. Therefore, the maize silage produced under inappropriate ensilaging conditions in a silo, was most likely the source of infection. Antimicrobial therapy with amoxicillin led to a fast cure of the remaining affected fatteners.

CONCLUSION:

To conclude, we were able to show, that L. monocytogenes can cause clinical disease in finishing pigs, which may have been a result of immunosuppression due to high deoxynivalenol exposure. When feeding silage it is important that all ensilaging procedures occur under appropriate anaerobic conditions to guarantee suppression of listerial growth.

KEYWORDS:

Fattening pig; Listeria monocytogenes; Septicaemia; Silage

PMID:
30463612
PMCID:
PMC6249783
DOI:
10.1186/s12917-018-1687-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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