Listeriosis

Listeriosis is a rare systemic bacterial disease that can cause septicemia in piglets and can also cause reproductive problems in sows.

Alternative names: Listeria monocytogenes

Information

It is caused by a bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes commonly found in the intestine of pigs. Listeria has a worldwide dissemination and is widespread in nature. It is often found in cheese and silage. The exposure to the organism results in an infection, but the disease is rare. It is a disease with major consequences in humans although swine do not seem to contribute to the epidemiology of human outbreaks. 

 

Symptoms

Sows 

  • Usually none.
  • Abortion.
  • An increase of weak piglets.
  • An increase of stillbirths.

Lactating piglets

  • Sudden death.
  • High fever.
  • Septicemia.
  • Nervous symptoms, possible meningitis.
  • The head is tilted.
  • Ear infections.

Nursery and fattening

  • None.

 

Diagnosis

A lab test is needed.

 

Control/Prevention

  • Listeria is usually sensitive to penicillin and ampicillin.
  • When an outbreak occurs it is necessary to identify the sources of infection and reduce exposures.