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A cost benefit study on the control of Porcine Proliferative Enteropathy in a commercial grower unit in Germany

U. Klein 1, W. Lhlein 2, A. Jensen-Atwood 3

Novartis Animal Health Inc., Basel, Switzerland. 2Lhlein & Wolf GbR Vet Research and Consulting, Munich, Germany. 3 Novartis Tiergesundheit GmbH, Munich, Germany

Porcine Proliferative Enteropathy caused by Lawsonia intracellularis, is considered as a global enteric disease, occurring commonly in a chronic subclinical form (PIA) in nursery pigs, growers and finishers. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the impact of the treatment of ileitis, its effect on the performance and to provide data on the cost benefit of controlling this infection.

Material and Methods

The trial was conducted in a farrow finish farm with a history of Lawsonia and Brachyspira infections. Presence of Lawsonia, Brachyspira and absence of Salmonella were confirmed in prescreening tests. Two hundred and eight commercial crossbred pigs of mixed gender, approximately 8 weeks of age and averaging 30kg of body weight,

pre-selected for culture (Salmonella) and PCR (Lawsonia, Brachyspira) tests at the onset of the study. Pigs were treated (group A: Tylan Soluble -10 mg tylosin tartrate/ kg bw; group B: Denagard 45%WSG -10mg tiamulin hydrogen fumarate/ kg bw) via drinking water which was mixed to the wet feeding system for 14 days at the start of the study. 14 days after completion of the first treatment block treatment was repeated for 14 consecutive days. Clinical observations were conducted and documented daily. Individual pig weights were recorded for all pigs on day 0, 14, 28, 42 and at the end of the fattening period. Animals with diarrhoea after completion of medication were treated individually with tiamulin injectable or tylosin injectable. The study was finished when the pigs reached the desired slaughter weight. Duration of the fattening period for each individual pig was recorded. At the abattoir individual

compared between the two treatment groups by Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney-test in Testimate V.6.3.04. Laboratory tests of faeces samples collected at the onset of the trial confirmed the presence of Lawsonia intracellularis. Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira hyodysenteriae were not identified. Brachyspira innocens was found in the faeces of one animal.

Results and Discussion

The results are summarized in Table 1. The comparison of the performance results indicate differences between the treatment groups. The average daily weight gain during the trial was significantly higher in group B (0.740, 0.156) than in group A (0.690, 0.155) and the FCR was improved in group B compared to group A. Significant differences in the final weight

Table 1. Comparative performance data for both treatment groups

Group A Body weight (start/end) ADG (g/day) FCR Weight gain/sold pig (kg) Weight slaughtered pigs (kg) Fattening period (days)
*P value stating significant differences

Group B 31.77/102.71 740* 2.77 71.27* 90.64* 109.7*

Stat. difference *P=0.007 *P=0.0147 *P=0.0018 *P=0.0121

29.57/97.03 690 2.82 67.55 82.72 117

were used in the farm. Pigs were weighed after arrival in the fattening unit, sexed, ear tagged and randomly assigned to the respective pens of two treatment groups (twenty-six pigs per pen). Four pigs per pen were randomly

carcass weight, condemnation, grading, back fat, meat index, lean meat content and refraction of meat were determined for each animal. The performance parameters were

of slaughtered pigs were observed among the pigs of both groups. Pigs in group B grew more rapidly from trial onset to slaughter and achieved a significantly (p=0.0018) higher carcass weight when slaughtered at the same day of production. The final market weight of pigs in group B was achieved during a significantly (p=0.0121) shorter fattening period.

The evaluation of the carcass parameters revealed numerical but no significant differences between group A and B. The cost benefit evaluation demonstrate the economic value of the medication against ileitis. The total benefit due to the effective treatment in group B was 4.79 more per pig than in group A.

In conclusion, effective reduction of the clinical expression of chronic Lawsonia intracellularis infection by tiamulin medication resulted in significant improved performance and shorter fattening times. Furthermore, the trial results prove the economical value of ileitis treatment with tiamulin.

Table 2. Cost / Benefit evaluation ()

Incomes1 Group A Group B

Expenses2 10.192 10.365

Benefit 3.809 3.900

Benefit/pig sold 41.30 46.09

Benefit/pig vs. Tylan

14.002 14.265



(): % mortality, kg pig sold, kg carcass sold (): animals, medication, feed, deaths, extra costs, yardage costs

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