Longitudinal study of Salmonella enterica in growing pigs reared in multiple-site swine production systems

J. A. Funk, P. R. Davies, M. A. Nichols

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111 Scopus citations


Intensive longitudinal investigations of breeding and growing pig populations in two multiple-site swine production systems were conducted in NC, USA. Five cohorts of sows and individually identified growing pigs from their litters were serially sampled in order to determine the prevalence and serotypes of Salmonella enterica in each stage of production based on fecal culture. In addition to fecal samples, feed and environmental samples were obtained. Fifteen different serotypes were isolated from the two systems, the most frequently isolated serotypes were S. typhimurium var Mbandaka and S. typhimurium var Copenhagen. Pig prevalence estimates ranged from 0 to 48.1%. Environmental contamination was frequently encountered despite cleaning and disinfection. Feed was rarely (2/800, 0.25%) identified as S. enterica positive. We observed highly variable patterns of S. enterica prevalence and serotype profiles within cohorts over time and among cohorts within systems. These observations indicate that point estimates of S. enterica prevalence and serotypes cannot be considered as reliable indicators of the S. enterica status of farms, and that uncontrolled studies of interventions to control S. enterica may yield misleading results. These findings are critical to the design of epidemiological studies of S. enterica on swine farms and may suggest that cohort level, as opposed to farm or company level events or management practices, may be important as potential risk factors for S. enterica fecal shedding in market age pigs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 22 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the North Carolina Pork Council. The authors acknowledge the cooperation of the individual pork producers who participated in this research and appreciate the technical support of Amy Carlson, Skip Hevener, Matthew Turner, Celso Oliviera, and Wondwossen Gebreyes.


  • Food safety
  • Pig-bacteria
  • Salmonella enterica


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