Submitted to: Proceeding of Enteric Disease Symposium
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/20/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Arcobacter are bacteria that can cause food poisonings in humans. There is a food safety concern because these organisms may be found on poultry, pork, seafood, etc. We conducted a study to see how prevalent these bacteria were in pigs at slaughter. The incidence was 70-100% for Campylobacter, 61% for Salmonella, and 5% for Arcobacter. However, this was in the intestinal tract, not on the meat. Nevertheless, these findings are important because they demonstrate a high prevalence of these bacteria in the GI tract raising concern about food safety. Such data is necessary in order to develop different production practices and slaughter procedures in the swine industry.
Technical Abstract: A survey was conducted to establish the prevalence of various enteric organisms in 600 market-age pigs from a commercial swine operation in Texas. The experimental design called for 4 representative farms (farrow- to- finish) to be sampled 3 times each over a nine-month period. Samples of ileocolic lymph nodes and cecal contents were collected at slaughter from 50 pigs per sampling period. Enteric bacteria were cultured and identified by utilization of enrichment broths restrictive media, biochemical analyses, antibody agglutination, differential stains, microscopic examination, and ELISA techniques. The prevalence rate for Campylobacter was 92% (range of 70-100%) with 60%- C. coli and 31% C. jejuni, while C. lari was only isolated from 2 pigs. The mean prevalence rate for salmonellae was 61% (range of 11-88%) with greater than 30 serovars of Salmonella identified. Ten serovars accounted for 87% of isolates and 5 serovars accounted for 68% of all isolates. Fifty-one pigs had more than one serovar isolated. Approximately one-half the farms were sampled for Arcobacter and the mean prevalence rate was 5% (range of 0- 20%). Replacement gilts and 9-14 day old piglets were also sampled and the results suggest Campylobacter and Salmonella colonization occurs at an early age. Our findings indicate that farms from this commercial operation are heavily contaminated with Campylobacter and Salmonella, that the isolation rates of C. jejuni in pigs were higher than predicted, and that there was a low prevalence of Arcobacter. We intend to explore various intervention strategies to try to reduce the levels of these organisms.