Herd-level risk factors for subclinical Salmonella infection in European finishing-pig herds
AuthorLo Fo Wong, D. M. A.; Dahl, J.; Stege, H.; Van Der Wolf, P. J.; Leontides, L.; Von Altrock, A.; Thorberg, B. M.
Our objective was to find herd factors associated with pigs testing seropositive for Salmonella. Data were collected from 359 finishing-pig herds in Germany, Denmark, Greece, The Netherlands and Sweden, between 1996 and 1998. Pigs fed non-pelleted feed (dry or wet) had 2- and 2.5-times lower odds of seropositivity, compared to pigs fed pelleted feed. The protective effect of non-pelleted feed over pelleted feed may be ascribed to the structure and composition. Also, pigs that were given whey (to drink or as the liquid part of the diet) had 2.6-times lower odds to test seropositive than pigs not getting whey. Pigs produced in batches in herds with hygienic-lock facilities had >3-times lower odds for testing seropositive compared to pigs in herds where only one or neither factor was present. In herds where the caretaker(s) washed hands consistently before tending to the animals, pigs had 1.5-times lower odds of seropositivity than pigs in herds where the caretaker did not. Pigs which were able to have snout contact with pigs in neighbouring pens (because pen separations were either open or too low) had 1.7-times higher odds to test seropositive compared to pigs for which such contact was prevented. Pigs in herds recruiting from more than three supplier herds had three-times higher odds to test seropositive than pigs in herds which breed their own replacement stock or recruit from a maximum of three supplier herds. © 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.