Erysipelas: Potential involvement in urogenital disease of the sow

Winfried Gertenbach, PhD; Gabor Bilkei, DVM, PhD

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Although systemic infections with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae in swine are usually associated with skin lesions, vegetative endocarditis, and arthritis, infections may cause abortion or influence stillbirth rate and litter size. In a large production unit that had ceased to vaccinate against erysip-elas, an increased incidence of pre- and postparturient vulval discharge, longer farrowing intervals, and a reduction in live-born litter size were reported. Anterior vaginal swabs obtained from 21 sows shortly before parturition all yielded heavy growth of E rhusiopathiae. When a vaccination program was re-instituted, the incidence of periparturient vulval discharge decreased, the farrowing interval diminished, and live-born litter size increased. In the absence of a control group, definitive conclusions cannot be made regarding the effect of vaccination against E rhusiopathiae on sow fertility. However, it is not unreasonable to suggest that E rhusiopathiae was involved in the etiology of the reduced sow fertility in this herd and that appropriate vaccination subsequently protected the sows.

Keywords: sow, erysipelas, fertility

RIS citationCite as: Gertenbach W, Bilkei G. Erysipelas: Potential involvement in urogenital disease of the sow. J Swine Health Prod 2002;10(5):205-207.

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