Prevalence of enteric pathogens in diarrheic and non-diarrheic samples from pig farms with neonatal diarrhea in the North East of Spain

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Abstract

Diarrhea is one of the major causes of neonatal mortality in pigs. In the present study, 31 pig farms with outbreaks of neonatal diarrhea were investigated in Catalonia (NE Spain) from February 2017 until June 2018. Two hundred and fifteen diarrheic samples from 1 to 7 days old piglets were tested for a panel of enteric pathogens. In 19 of the studied farms additional fecal samples from apparently healthy pen-mates were collected and tested for the same panel of infectious agents. Samples were bacteriologically cultured and tested by PCR for E. coli virulence factors genes, C. perfringens types A and C toxins (Cpα, Cpβ, Cpβ2) and C. difficile toxins (TcdA, TcdB). Moreover, Rotavirus A (RVA), Rotavirus B (RVB), Rotavirus C (RVC), porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) were also determined by RT-qPCR. More than one pathogen could be detected in all of the outbreaks. Nevertheless, RVA was the only agent that could be statistically correlated with the outcome of diarrhea. For the other viruses and bacteria analyzed significant differences between the diseased pigs and the controls were not found. In spite of this, the individual analysis of each of the studied farms indicated that other agents such as RVB, RVC, toxigenic C. difficile or pathogenic E. coli could play a relevant role in the outbreak of diarrhea. In conclusion, the large diversity of agent combinations and disease situations detected in neonatal diarrhea outbreaks of this study stand for a more personalized diagnosis and management advice at a farm level.

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Vidal, A., Martín-Valls, G. E., Tello, M., Mateu, E., Martín, M., & Darwich, L. (2019). Prevalence of enteric pathogens in diarrheic and non-diarrheic samples from pig farms with neonatal diarrhea in the North East of Spain. Veterinary Microbiology, 237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.108419

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