Campylobacter

The Campylobacter infection, although it is usually subclinical, mainly affects piglets causing diarrhea.

Alternative names: Campylobacter, Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter hyointestinalis, Campylobacter mucosalis

Information

Campylobacter are present in the small and large intestines of most mammals including pigs. Globally, Campylobacter coli is the most commonly present in pigs. Clinical signs are not always present but can cause a watery diarrhea with mucous and occasional blood. In Campylobacters (especially C. jejuni) are very important and common cause of food-borne illness in humans.

Symptoms

Lactating piglets

  • Fever.
  • Mild diarrhea, sometimes creamy, which, if untreated, it can lasts for several days.
  • Dehydration.
  • The diarrhea may contain blood and mucus.
  • Loss of body condition.

Sows, nursery and fattening

  • Clinical signs are rarely present.

 

Causes / Contributing Factors

  • Dirty floors.
  • Poor hygiene in farrowing.
  • Wet floors.
  • Continous flow without health breaks.
  • Secondary infections to enteric microorganisms.

 

Diagnosis

  • It is difficult.
  • Campylobacter is very common in feces as well as other microorganisms that also cause diarrhea (E. coli, rotavirus, Cryptosporidium or coccidia) and it is impossible to decide whether its isolation in an outbreak is significant. 

Control/Prevention

  • Control specifically for Campylobacter is rarely done in pigs.
  • For most piglets, creamy diarrhea is associated with coccidiosis and the control methods for Campylobacter are very similar to coccidiosis.
  • Good hygiene, All in/All out.
  • Farrowing management is important.
  • Susceptible to oral antibiotics.