Campylobacter

The Campylobacter infection, although it is usually subclinical, mainly affects piglets causing fever and 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 are the most common present in pigs. It is debatable whether or not it causes diarrhea in piglets, because it seems probable that antibodies present in sow milk avoids it from happening. However oral infections in piglets that have no access to colostrum may result in mild diarrhea with mucus and sometimes blood.

Helicobacter spiral forms, related with Campylobacter, can be found adhering to the stomach wall and around gastric ulcers. However, many other factors contribute to gastric ulcers in pigs and it seems unlikely that Helicobacter are a primary cause.

 

Symptoms

Lactating piglets

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

Sows, nursery and fattening

  •  It is not present.

 

Causes / Contributing Factors

  • Dirty floors.
  • Poor hygiene in farrowing.
  • Wet floors.
  • Farrow to finish without health gaps.
  • Secondary infections to enteric microorganisms.

 

Diagnosis

It is difficult, because 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

  • Most of piglets’ mushy diarrhea is associated with coccidiosis and the control method for Campylobacter is very similar to coccidiosis.
  • Good hygiene, All in/All out.
  • Farrowing management is important.
  • They are susceptible to oral antibiotics used for other causes of diarrhea such as tylosin, neomycin, tetracycline’s and enrofloxacin.