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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Case Report

Year: 2018

Authors: Stein, H; Stessl, B; Brunthaler, R; Loncaric, I; Weissenböck, H; Ruczizka, U; Ladinig, A; Schwarz, L

Title: Listeriosis in fattening pigs caused by poor quality silage - a case report.

Source: BMC Vet Res. 2018; 14(1):362

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Brunthaler Rene
Ladinig Andrea
Loncaric Igor
Ruczizka Ursula
Schwarz Lukas
Stein Heiko
Stessl Beatrix
Weissenböck Herbert

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Microbiology
Institute of Pathology
Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Food Microbiology
University Clinic for Swine

Listeria (L.) monocytogenes as the causative agent of listeriosis in humans and different animal species, has its reservoir in the environment. It can be found in the gut and faeces of healthy pigs, but under certain circumstances it may cause clinical disease. Fatteners are usually not known to get affected by Listeria-associated septicaemia and enteritis. This case report shows, that L. monocytogenes should be part of the list of differential diagnoses, when fattening pigs suffer from haemorrhagic diarrhoea and septicaemia.Here, we report of an episode of fatal listeriosis in fattening pigs in a piglet producing farm in Lower Austria, which was combined with a fattening unit with space for 450 fatteners. The mortality rate resulted in 7.8% among fattening pigs after suffering from clinical symptoms such as anorexia, bloody diarrhoea and increased body temperature. Two fattening pigs with clinical symptoms and maize silage samples were used for further diagnostics. L. monocytogenes were isolated from serosa samples of the pigs and in the corresponding fed maize silage. One animal was positively tested for Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, which may have also been involved in the development of colitis. Immunohistochemically, L. monocytogenes could be detected in high amounts in lymphatic tissue of the gut. Molecular biological characterisation of the L. monocytogenes isolates from pigs and maize silage resulted in an identical DNA-fingerprint assigned to sequence type (ST) 21. Additionally, a high content of deoxynivalenol (3000 parts per billion) was found in maize silage. Therefore, the maize silage produced under inappropriate ensilaging conditions in a silo, was most likely the source of infection. Antimicrobial therapy with amoxicillin led to a fast cure of the remaining affected fatteners.To conclude, we were able to show, that L. monocytogenes can cause clinical disease in finishing pigs, which may have been a result of immunosuppression due to high deoxynivalenol exposure. When feeding silage it is important that all ensilaging procedures occur under appropriate anaerobic conditions to guarantee suppression of listerial growth.

Keywords Pubmed: Animal Feedadverse effectsmicrobiology
Listeria monocytogenes
Swine Diseasesetiologymortality

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