Submitted to: Pig Veterinary Society International Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Segregated early weaning (SEW) is a production technology used to reduce or to eliminate vertical transmission of common bacterial and viral swine pathogens. Because SEW technology may reduce swine pathogens, it has been postulated that similar mechanisms could reduce potential zoonotic foodborne bacteria at the production level. Potential zoonotic bacteria which may colonize swine or contaminate pork products include Salmonella, Yersinia, Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Listeria. We compared the prevalence of several zoonotic organisms in SEW and in conventionally reared market hogs. Pigs were screened as they entered the SEW nursery, upon exiting the nursery, and at market weight. Controls were sampled at market weight. Salmonella isolations decreased in the SEW animals and in this trial Salmonella spp. were not recovered from the on-farm market weight hogs (controls). For SEW-reared animals the prevalence of Campylobacter, Arcobacter, and Clostridium spp. declined with time, which may indicate that high health and hygiene conditions reduce the pig carrier status with age. However, at market weight, no differences were seen between the on-farm Campylobacter controls (41%) and SEW (38%) pigs. In contrast, the prevalence of Arcobacter spp. was higher in SEW pigs than on-farm controls (84% vs 24%). Listeria monocytogenes and pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica were not recovered at any of the sampling points. This is the first evaluation of SEW to control potential zoonotic pathogens under commercial conditions.