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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of Feed Withdrawal and Feed Modification on Cecal Environment and Campylobacter Concentrations in a Swine Surgical Model

item Harvey, Roger
item Anderson, Robin
item Young, Colin
item Genovese, Kenneth
item Hume, Michael
item Droleskey, Robert
item Farrington, Leigh - TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY
item Ziprin, Richard
item Nisbet, David

Submitted to: American Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 19, 2000
Publication Date: May 1, 2001

Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter are bacteria that are the leading cause of human gastrointestinal disease in the developed world. Workplace losses in productivity are estimated in the billions of dollars. Campylobacter may be present in the intestinal tract of swine, so methods are being sought to reduce or eliminate these bacteria. In the present study, we found that feed withdrawal in pigs increases Campylobacter numbers. This knowledge is important because it could possibly lead to control methods for Campylobacter in the pork food chain.

Technical Abstract: The objective of the present study was to evaluate how feed withdrawal, transportation, and antibiotic treatments influenced the cecal environment and cecal populations of Campylobacter in swine. Four miniature gilts (8.8 kg), naturally infected with C. jejuni, were surgically implanted with cecal cannulas. The gilts were fasted for 48 hrs. Samples of cecal content were collected for 7 days prior to and for 7 days after the fast, and mean values were determined for pH, VFA, and C. jejuni enumeration. Following a 48 hr. fast, cecal pH increased by one unit; acetic and propionic acids decreased by 61% and 71%, respectively; and there was a two-fold log10 increase in cfu/g cecal content of C. jejuni. Pigs (full-fed) were loaded onto a trailer and transported for 3 hr., and cecal samples collected prior to and immediately following transportation. Values of pH, VFA, and cfu of C. jejuni did not change following transportation. Treatment with an oral suspension of erythromycin (1600 mg/pig/day) eliminated C. jejuni from the cecum and from ileocolic lymph nodes in this study. Although antibiotics should not be used prior to transportation in commercial pigs, data from this study have important food safety considerations because feed withdrawal, commonly associated with shipping and slaughter, can increase shedding of C. jejuni in swine.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015