Control of Streptococcus suis infections and associated disease have proven to be a difficult challenge under most farm conditions. The objective of this study was to experimentally expose young pigs with a pathogenic strain of S. suis serotype 2 as a means of controlling the disease in a commercial swine farm. Prior to the start of the study, the pathogenic S. suis strain responsible for mortality in the farm was identified and used to experimentally inoculate baby piglets. Over a 3-week period, groups of pigs were selected (100 pigs/wk) and divided into 2 groups: control (50 pigs/week) and experimentally exposed (50 pigs/week). Pigs in the experimentally exposed group were inoculated at 5 d old by tonsillar swabbing with the pathogenic S. suis farm isolate. The effect of exposure with this pathogenic strain was evaluated during the nursery and finishing stages and was based on: morbidity (pigs with central nervous signs (CNS) and/or lameness), mortality and number of treatments required by pigs that had either CNS or lameness. The relative risk (RR) of acquiring disease due to S. suis infection was also calculated. Results showed that morbidity in the experimentally exposed groups was lower than in the control group and these results were statistically different (P = 0.006). Experimentally exposed pigs also showed a statistically significant reduction in lameness problems (P = 0.012), but not in CNS (P = 0.20) or mortality (P = 0.59). Pigs in the control group had an increased RR of 4.76, 8.77 and 2.7 for morbidity, to have lameness or to have CNS signs, respectively. In conclusion, experimental exposure of young pigs with the farm's pathogenic S. suis strain at a young age, had a positive effect in reducing clinical signs characteristics of S. suis infection. This method constitutes a novel approach to the control of S. suis infections in swine farms.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research|
|State||Published - Oct 1 1999|