Three swine commercial farms with high mortality rates in nursery pigs due to Streptococcus suis serotype 2 were studied. Brain samples from diseased animals were collected for a period of 6 to 10 mo and used to isolate the strain that was responsible for the mortality (virulent strain) in each farm. Tonsil swabs from piglets at 5, 10 and 15 d were taken to assess both total colonization and colonization by the virulent strain. The effect of sow vaccination against 5. suis on colonization was evaluated in 1 of the farms. All suspect tonsil isolates were identified biochemically and then tested against serotype 2. The genomic patterns of serotype 2 isolates were compared to that of the virulent strain using Rep-PCR. Results showed that total colonization by S. suis occurred very early in the pigs' life, with most animals being colonized by weaning age. Prevalence of colonization by serotype 2 strains was much lower than total colonization. After comparing serotype 2 isolates with the virulent strains, only 1 tonsillar isolate had the same genomic pattern as the virulent strain and it belonged to a 4-week-old weaned pig. The genomic pattern of the virulent strain was not found in any tonsillar isolate from 15-day-old or younger pigs. Although limited by sample size, sow vaccination against S. suis increased total colonization at the same time significantly decreasing colonization by serotype 2 strains. Even though most pigs are colonized early in age by S. suis, colonization by the virulent strain is of low prevalence and delayed in time. This could constitute a risk factor for developing the disease later in time, because animals would be colonized when maternal immunity is no longer present, allowing the organism to become systemic.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1998|