Fecal shedding of Salmonella by pigs housed in buildings with open-flush gutters

Peter Davies, BVSc, PhD

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Objective: To evaluate the possible role of recycled effluent in the epidemiology of fecal shedding of Salmonella by finishing pigs housed in barns with open flush gutters.

Methods: In six herds where finishing pigs were housed on solid concrete floors with open gutters (flushed with recycled lagoon water), locations of pigs with fecal samples positive for Salmonella were examined with respect to position in the barn and direction of effluent flow.

Results: In two herds (herds A and B), which received pigs and feed from the same sources, prevalence of positive fecal samples varied widely (60% and 4% respectively). In herd A (60% positive), gutters were flushed intermittently and the prevalence of pigs found to be shedding Salmonella was higher in downstream pens with respect to the flow of effluent. In herd B (4% positive), prevalence of fecal shedding was low, although gutters were flushed continuously with effluent recycled from single stage lagoon. In the other four herds, prevalence varied widely (4% to 59%) and no association between fecal shedding and pen location with respect to effluent flow was evident. In two herds, differences in serotype distribution between sides of barns suggested pen-to-pen transmission to be important. Clustering of positive pigs in some pens was also apparent.

Implications: The increased risk of Salmonella shedding by pigs in barns with open gutters observed in earlier studies may not be primarily attributable to the use of recycled lagoon water for flushing. Inefficient removal of fecal matter, resulting in increased transmission of Salmonella within and between pens, may be more important.

Keywords: Salmonella, fecal shedding, food safety

RIS citationCite as: Davies P. Fecal shedding of Salmonella by pigs housed in buildings with open-flush gutters. J Swine Health Prod 1998;6(3):101-106.

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