Potential routes of acquisition of Arcobacter species by piglets.

H. Ho, L.J.A. Lipman, L. van der Graaf-van Bloois, M. van Bergen, W. Gaastra

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    The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and the transmission routes of Arcobacter spp. in sows and their offspring on a breeding farm. Twelve Arcobacter-positive sows and their litters were studied for this purpose. Analysis of rectal samples showed a high prevalence of Arcobacter spp. among the sows (approximately 42% of the sows carried one or more Arcobacter species). Intermittent excretion of one particular species and shifts in excretion from one species to another were observed in individual animals over time. The detection of Arcobacter spp. in amniotic fluid of the sows and in rectal samples from newborn piglets (ranging from 38.5-83.3% per litter), as well as the high similarity between PFGE profiles of Arcobacter isolates from sows and their respective newborns indicated the existence of an intra-uterine transmission route for Arcobacter spp. Specific antibodies against Arcobacter spp. were detected in colostrum by Western blot. At 2 weeks of age, only a few piglets were positive for Arcobacter. The reappearance of Arcobacter in these piglets at Week 3 and the shift in the Arcobacter species detected (from a prominent presence of A. cryaerophilus at birth to the presence of A. skirrowii and A. butzleri at 3 weeks after birth) showed that a post-natal infection route from their mothers, newcomers or the environment to the piglets existed. Thus, in this manuscript the transmission of Arcobacter spp. (both vertical and horizontal) from carrying sows to their offspring is demonstrated.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)123-133
    Number of pages11
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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