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Attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and PRRSv from an infected herd by strategic medication

S. Christiansen 1 Roslev Dyreklinik A/S, DK-7870 Roslev, Denmark.

Pleuropneumonia caused by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (App), enzootic pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and PRRS belong to the most important diseases in Danish pig production. In Denmark restocking with specific pathogen-free (SPF) animals has shown to be a safe and reliable way of eliminating these diseases, but this method is expensive. As an alternative to SPF restocking the objective of the study was to attempt to eradicate all these three infections from multiplying breeding herd by medication with antimicrobials together with change in production. The reason for the eradication attempt was an increase incidence of pneumonia, mainly pleuropneumonia, expressed by higher mortality in weaners and decrease of daily weight gain. Mortality for the last two quarters before the start of the eradication programme increased to 5.1% and 7.1%, respectively

Materials and methods

Herd: In a multiplying herd of 600 breeding animals, suckling pigs and weaners up to 30 kg. The unit has an annual production of approx. 14,000 30 kg pigs. The farm was infected with App, serotype 2 (App2), Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and PRRS virus. The diagnosis was made based on serological test, clinical symptoms and by culture of App2. Isolates were tested and found sensitive to a combination of tiamulin and chlortetracycline (CTC). Preparation for eradication: On the day that medication was started there were no suckling pigs and all weaners were removed from the farm. Furthermore, there was no farrowing during this 14-day period. There were only breeding animals older than 10 months in the farm. Medication: Day 1: All breeding animals were treated via feed with a combination of tiamulin (Denagard premix) 3.5 mg/kg body weight/day corresponding to 300 ppm and CTC

Table 1. Serological ELISA monitoring of the offspring, born after eradication programme was carried out over an 16 month period
Number of examined pigs Positive / negative Antibody to Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Antibody to App 2 PRRS 0 / 320 4 / 120 0 / 160

(Aureosup) 6 mg/kg body weight/day corresponding to 500 ppm in the feed for 14 days. Additionally, on day 7 all breeding animals were treated with marbofloxacin (Marbocyl) i.m. 4 mg/kg body weight once. Disinfection: The units with animals were cleaned and disinfected daily for 14 days, i.e. the entire medication period, with 2% solution of Virkon S. Manure canals were emptied and disinfected just before eradication. Tools and boots were also cleaned and disinfected. Units emptied of animals: Cleaning and washing were followed by disinfection with a glutaraldehyde-containing product. After disinfection the housing was left empty for 2-3 weeks. Monitoring: After the eradication programme was carried out the farm was monitored monthly (by serological tests) for the presence antibodies against Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, M. hyopneumoniae and PRRS virus. Every month 10-20 blood samples were taken from randomly selected animals. The herd was also monitored for clinical signs once a month.

Blood samples were taken every month for monitoring and as appears from table 1 during the observation period altogether 320 samples were examined for antibodies against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and 160 samples against PRRS virus all of them were negative. For a period of 6 months all samples (80) were negative for App2. However, subsequently 4 samples of 40 were demonstrated to be positive for App2 during the 2 month period. After a period without signs of pleuropneumonia a limited outbreak occurred among the weaners and App2 was detected by culture.

Table 2. Daily weight gain (from 7 to 30 kg) and mortality rate 1 year before and 1 year after medication
1 year before medication Number of produced 30 kg pigs Average daily gain (g) Deaths (%) 13620 395 3.6 1 year after medication 12387 466 2.4

The applied eradication programme for elimination of PRRS virus and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection was successful and confirms previously published results of studies in Denmark1,2,3. In spite of not being able to eliminate App2 the problem with pleuropneumonia dropped significantly and mortality is now at a low level and mainly caused by enteric diseases after weaning.

1. P. Bkbo, K.S. Madsen, M. Aagrd, J. Szancer (1994) 13th IPVS Congress 135. 2. K. Damgaard, L.P. Larsen, K. Larsen, B.P. Jensen, J. Szancer (2000) 16th IPVS Congress 339. 3. J.B. Lorenzen (2000) 16th IPVS Congress 340.

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