Externally funded project

Analysis of the Prevalence of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli Strains of Newborn Piglets in Organic Pig Herds (E-coli)

Project Details
Project duration: 11/200904/2011


Results from previous studies show that diarrhoea in suckling and weaned
piglets is one of the most relevant health problems in organic pig production. Several
studies refer to an involvement of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) in
piglet diarrhoea. Therefore, dam vaccination is an important measure for
improving piglet health.

So far, studies dealing with the prevalence rates of different ETEC strains
have been conducted only on conventional farms. Due to different housing
conditions in organic livestock systems, the question arises whether the ETEC
strains being part of commercial vaccines are corresponding to the actual
epidemiologic situation in organic pig herds.

The aim of the research project is to assess the prevalence of enterotoxigenic
pathogens, especially of different ETEC strains, in 20 organic sow herds in Germany.

At the first visit on the farms, potential risk factors with regard to
housing and hygienic conditions are monitored by using a modified CCP-Concept.
Farmers are instructed to collect faecal samples from 2 sick suckling piglets/
sow over a one year period. The samples are analysed for ETEC, Cl. perfringens, rotavirus and Isospora suis. If ETEC strains are isolated
in biomolecular analyses which are not part of any commercial vaccine against
piglet diarrhoea, they will be asserved for the option to produce herd specific
vaccines in the future. Results of the CCP- analysis will be related to the
bacteriological ETEC results. In addition to the microbiological analysis,
the study will also gain information on treatment incidences of sows and their

Research Areas

Last updated on 2019-08-07 at 15:13