Submitted to: Safepork
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 18, 2003
Publication Date: October 1, 2003
Citation: Harvey, R.B., Genovese, K.J., Anderson, R.C., Nisbet, D.J. 2003. Mixed culture of commensal bacteria reduces E. coli in nursery pigs. Proceedings of 5th International Symposium on the Epidemiology and Control of Foodborne Pathogens in Pork (SafePork '03). p. 151-153. Interpretive Summary: Recently weaned pigs can be infected with disease-causing strains of E. coli bacteria, become ill, and die. The swine industry loses millions of dollars annually to this disease. In a series of field trials, we showed that a culture of beneficial bacteria designated RPCF was able to protect pigs from disease and death associated with E. coli. Although experimental, if RPCF becomes commercially available, it could be an alternative to antibiotics to control E. coli in weaned pigs and could be of major economic benefit to the swine industry.
Technical Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to use field trials to evaluate the efficacy of a porcine-derived, defined culture (RPCF) of commensal bacteria for prevention of clinical disease from enterotoxigenic strains of Escherichia coli in weaned pigs. Neonates (< 24 h old) were orally administered RPCF and were monitored throughout the post-weaning nursery period on five geographically separated farms. The farms had a history of high mortality from F-18 strains of E. coli. RPCF-treated pigs had reduced mortality, morbidity, and medication costs from E. coli compared to untreated pigs. Although experimental, RPCF may become an effective control procedure for enterotoxigenic E. coli.