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Aivlosin® in pigs

 

Enzootic Pneumonia

Enzootic Pneumonia (EP) is a chronic, worldwide respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. It leads to coughing, reduced growth rate and increased susceptibility to severe PRRS and Circovirus Associated Diseases. In combination with other pathogens, it can cause mortality.

Clinical signs

Economic importance

Spread of the disease

Management and control of Enzootic Pneumonia



Clinical signs

Coughing is the most obvious clinical sign of Enzootic Pneumonia. Typically, a dry, hacking cough is seen in growing pigs from 8 weeks of age until slaughter. This is very obvious when pigs first get up in the morning. In nave herds, all ages of pigs can be affected by a dry cough.

Because mycoplasma attach to the hair-like cilia of the respiratory tract, it is difficult for the pig to mount an effective immunological response. Therefore pigs remain infected for a long time (chronic infection). The damage to the cilia, responsible for clearing foreign bodies such as dust and pathogens, can allow for more serious mixed infections with Pasteurella, APP, PRRS and circovius (commonly known as Porcine Respiratory Disease Complex PRDC). In complicated infections the cough may become moist, with thumping respiration, high fevers and mortality.

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Economic importance

Enzootic Pneumonia is present in most herds to some degree, except in specific pathogen-free farms or farms stocked from EP negative herds. Affected herds will have depressed growth rate, poor feed conversion efficiency and increased group variation at slaughter. The cost of the disease will vary depending on severity of infection, herd management, cost of treatments and the presence of other bacteria and viruses. Mycoplasma infections can decrease average daily gain by 30 grams for every 10% of pig lung affected by pneumonia. In a recent slaughterhouse survey of pig lungs in Northern Ireland, 87% of lungs were affected by typical EP lesions and 96% of herds inspected had lesions 1

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Spread of the disease

The Mycoplasma spreads short distances from infected pigs to other pigs by aerosols produced by coughing. Piglets are often already infected at the time of weaning, presumably from the sow despite the presence of Mycoplasma antibodies in the colostrum. Mycoplasma does not survive well outside the pig, so transmission from farm to farm is likely due to the introduction of infected livestock. Frequently, closed EP negative herds become infected by lateral spread (airborne, people, contaminated objects).

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Management and control of Enzootic Pneumonia

Elimination

Achieve and maintain EP-free status by de-stocking and re-stocking with EP negative stock. This is expensive and unfortunately re-breaks are common. This is not worth considering in highly pig-dense areas. EP eradication may be achieved with herd closure, partial depopulation and antibiotics. Antibiotics may be less expensive than depopulation, but the success rate is reduced compared to depopulation and also has a higher risk of re-breaks.

Control

As many herds are chronically infected and located in pig dense areas, controlling the costly effects of the disease is essential. No single intervention will completely control the infection with Mycoplasma.

Three tools are available:

1) Vaccines: Many vaccines protecting pigs against Mycoplasma infection are available on the market. Consult with your herd veterinarian on the best programme to use on your farm, as vaccination before weaning, single dose or 2 dose protocols are available. Each herd should apply a vaccination programme based on the disease picture on the farm (severity, time of infection and cost of disease). Immunity after intramuscular vaccination with killed Mycoplasma antigens does not prevent Mycoplasma infection, but will reduce clinical signs and pneumonia damage. A period of 3 to 6 weeks is usually required for some protective immunity to develop after vaccination, therefore allowing a window without protection for infections to occur. Aivlosin® usage during this period is beneficial.

2) Management: Improved ventilation, reduced pen/building density, pig flow using an All In/All Out management system and avoiding mixing of various ages or sources in the same building.

3) Antibiotics: Various antibiotics are effective against Mycoplasma. The key components of effective therapy and prevention are:

  • Low MIC against Mycoplasma (a measurement which gives a crude indication, in the lab, about how effective an antibiotic is) together with the next two components
  • Rapid absorption and rapid distribution to the lungs.
  • High cell penetration
  • Highly palatable when mixed with feed or water.
  • Well tolerated by the pigs
  • Short withdrawal period

Aivlosin® meets all of the above criteria.

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