Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Our studies have involved an ongoing epidemiological survey of Campylobacter incidence within three commercial swine farms in Texas. Samples of cecal contents were collected from 500 market pigs at slaughter and Campylobacter incidence determined using enrichment broth and Campylobacter-restrictive media. In five separate occasions from two growout operations, the incidence of Campylobacter isolations varied from 70-95%. Ninety-nine percent of all isolates, as determined by both metabolic fermentation and serological assays, were found to be C. coli with the remainder being C. jejuni. Cecal contents of 50 gilts from a breeding farm were collected at slaughter and Campylobacter incidence determined. Approximately 90% of gilts were positive for C. coli. Enumeration of C. coli showed 10**3 to 10**4 cfu per gram of cecal content. In a separate study, 40 piglets (d 9-14) were sampled and 80% were positive for C. coli by the time of weaning. These data are important in that Campylobacter species, recognized as foodborne pathogens, readily colonize a high percentage of commercial pigs by an early age and do occur in high numbers in the intestinal tract at time of slaughter.