Animal Diseases –
Porcine / Swine

Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniaeTop

Overview
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae causes a contagious respiratory disease with worldwide distribution that typically affects <6-month-old pigs, but can also infect adults during an initial outbreak. While aerosol transmission of A. pleuropneumoniae is possible, the disease is typically transmitted through nose-to-nose contact, with clinical signs developing in as little as 4 hours. The disease has an aggressive onset and short course, resulting in high morbidity and mortality rates.

Signs
Clinical signs of A. pleuropneumoniae may include high fever, lethargy, labored breathing, bloody discharge (nasal and oral), and anorexia, though some pigs may die before they show clinical signs because of the rapid onset of the disease. Morbidity can exceed 50%, and if the disease goes untreated, the risk of death is very high, with surviving animals displaying a persistent cough and decreased growth rates.

Human health risk
A. pleuropneumoniae is zoonotic and can be transferred to humans via animal bites.

Economic impact
Swine operations can incur substantial economic losses as a result of A. pleuropneumoniae outbreaks due to treatment costs, decreased growth rates of animals that have survived the disease, mortality, and the slaughter of animals due to infection site abscesses.

African swine fever (ASF)Top

Overview
ASF is caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV). ASFV infects domestic pigs, warthogs, and bushpigs. Transmission occurs through direct contact between healthy and sick animals, or indirect contact through infected feed, as well as through biological vectors (soft ticks).

The disease is endemic in the southern hemisphere of Africa, as well as on the Iberian Peninsula and in Sardinia. Sporadic outbreaks have occurred in other European countries (Belgium in 1985, Netherlands in 1986) and outside of Europe (the Caribbean, Brazil).

Signs
Peracute, acute, subacute, and chronic forms of ASF occur, and mortality rates vary from 0 to 100%, depending on the virulence of the virus that pigs are infected with. Acute disease is characterized by a short incubation period of 3–7 days, followed by high fever (up to 42°C) and death in 5–10 days.

The least variable clinical signs are loss of appetite, depression, and recumbency. Other signs include hyperemia of the skin of the ears, abdomen, and legs; respiratory distress; vomiting; bleeding from the nose or rectum; and sometimes diarrhea. Abortion is sometimes the first event seen in an outbreak. Chronic disease is characterized by emaciation, swollen joints, and respiratory problems. This form of the disease is rarely seen in outbreaks.

Human health risk
It does not appear that ASF presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
The effect on a swine herd can vary depending on the strain, from near 100% mortality to cases of low-virulence isolates that can be difficult to diagnose. When an outbreak occurs in any region or country, the financial and physical implications can be devastating to the swine industry and those related to it.

During outbreaks in Malta and the Dominican Republic, for example, the swine herds of the entire countries were completely depopulated.

Aujeszky's diseaseTop

Overview
Aujeszky’s disease is a contagious viral disease caused by a herpesvirus called Pseudorabies virus (PRV). The most common form is an acute febrile syndrome that mainly affects pigs (the main reservoir for the virus), though many other animal species are also susceptible.

The virus spreads to the airways, nervous system, and in pregnant sows, the fetus. It is widespread throughout the world and its effects have considerable economic impact.

Signs
The clinical picture depends on the infected animal's age and physiological development. In piglets, it causes nervous problems (circling and fits) with death soon ensuing. In growing animals, the main effects are respiratory and gastrointestinal problems with retarded growth. In sows, reproductive problems such as abortion, return to heat, and small litters have been observed. After exposure to the airborne virus, it can remain latent in the body, ready for subsequent reactivation at times of stress or immunosuppression.

Human health risk
Though the instances are rare, Aujeszky’s disease can be transmitted from an infected animal to humans.

Economic impact
Widespread infection of PRV in pig herds can result in serious economic losses to the pork industry. To minimize the potential economic damage caused by an outbreak of this disease, it is critical to have sensitive and specific tests for early detection to prevent the spread of infection.

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BrachyspirosisTop

Epidemiology
A motile, spiral-shaped bacterium, is the causative agent of porcine dysentery (also known as haemorrhagic diarrhea or haemorrhagic enteritis). It infects pigs but can also cause transient asymptomatic infection of other animal species such as rats, mice, dogs, and birds if they come into contact with pig feces.

The disease is found in all countries in which pig breeding is developed. It mainly strikes pigs in the fattening stage, although sows and weaned piglets can also show signs. The most common route of contamination is the introduction of an infected animal into a unit, but mice may also play an important role because they can contract the infection from a small inoculum (102 CFU) and then continue excreting the bacterium for six months.

Signs
The main signs of brachyspirosis are diarrhea, weight loss, delayed growth and, in the most severe forms, dehydration.

Economic impact
Porcine dysentery has serious economic repercussions because of its mortality (up to 50% in a given unit) and, to an even greater extent, delayed growth (slaughter can be delayed by 28 days), and the cost of treatment. In addition, cured animals constitute a danger since they may still be excreting the bacterium.

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BrucellosisTop

Overview
Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by Brucella bacteria. Brucella species of major concern are B. abortus, primarily affecting cattle; B. melitensis, primarily affecting sheep and goats; and B. suis, primarily affecting pigs. All these Brucella species are non–host-specific and may be transmitted to other animal species or humans under appropriate conditions.

Brucellosis is commonly transmitted to susceptible animals by direct contact with infected animals or in an environment that has been contaminated with discharge from infected animals. Brucellosis is thus a herd or flock problem.

Brucellosis is a notifiable disease, and any occurrence of it has to be reported to the local health authority. Depending on the species and the infection rate, different eradication programs are effective. Where incidence rates are high, vaccination programs are necessary to lower the infection rate. Once this has been achieved, surveillance programs linked to slaughter of infected animals are introduced. These programs lead to "Brucellosis-Free" and "Officially Brucellosis-Free" status for specified regions or whole countries. In Europe, surveillance is regulated in the EU Directive 2003/99/EC on monitoring of zoonoses.

Signs
Symptoms of a Brucella infection are often decreased milk production, weight loss, abortion, infertility, and lameness. Brucella uptake occurs orally and via skin wounds or mucus membranes. Brucella bacteria are mainly excreted with aborted fetal tissue and placenta, and with semen and milk.

Occasionally, animals may recover after a period of time. More commonly, however, the symptoms disappear but the disease prevails. Such asymptomatic animals are dangerous sources of infection.

Human health risk
Raw milk and unpasteurized cheese represent the most frequent sources of human infection. Farmers and veterinary staff run an increased risk of infection due to direct exposure to aborted infected materials. In humans, the disease is not usually fatal, but if untreated, it can last for many years.

The incubation period is usually one to three weeks, but can sometimes be as long as several months. Patients show unspecific symptoms such as undulating fever, chills, malaise, and headache.

Economic impact
Brucellosis is a major public and animal health problem in many regions of the world. Although it rarely kills infected animals, considering the economic damage the disease can cause, brucellosis is one of the most serious livestock diseases worldwide.

This zoonosis has been or is close to being eradicated from a number of countries, but it is still prevalent in the Mediterranean region, Africa, Asia, and South America.

Classical swine fever (CSF)Top

Overview
CSF is considered the second most serious of all contagious diseases of pigs and wild boars, after aphthous fever. It is a major threat to pig production, with serious socioeconomic consequences.

The disease is caused by an enveloped RNA virus of the genus Pestivirus in the Flaviviridae family. CSF cannot be transmitted to humans and manifests in different ways according to the virulence of the infecting virus and the animal's stage of development.

In all cases, laboratory tests (virology and/or serology) are essential to either confirm or rule out suspected CSF.

Signs
A superacute form can cause death within 48 hours with practically no signs, but the more common acute form has an initial phase characterized by high fever (up to 42°C) during which time the animal is lethargic, stops eating, and develops conjunctivitis with a purulent ocular discharge.

The disease also causes gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, hematological imbalance, and neurological disorders. The animal dies within 5–15 days. Some of these signs can be confused with those of many other porcine diseases, which makes CSF difficult to diagnose.

The chronic form of the disease is even more insidious because the signs are mild and infected animals may survive for weeks or months. Moreover, the presence of other concurrent diseases or infections may complicate differential diagnosis.

Human health risk
It does not appear that classical swine fever virus (CSFV) presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
The presence of CSFV in pig herds can have a severe economic impact on the meat production industry as a result of wide-spread animal deaths due to the disease, as well as trade restrictions on meat exports.

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Clostridium perfringensTop

Overview
A spore-forming anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium perfringens is commonly found in the soil and digestive tract of various domestic animals, and is categorized under six unique types (A, B, C, D, E, and F), with types B, C, and D being the most common form of the disease.

It is not uncommon for small amounts of C. perfringens to inhabit, and pass through, the digestive tract of an animal without causing disease. But in instances where an animal is exposed to a sudden increase in carbohydrates (milk, supplementary concentrates, etc.) C. perfringens bacteria can rapidly increase in numbers, producing large amounts of toxin that often cause rapid death.

Type-B, also known as lamb dysentery, presents a high mortality rate in young lambs and is also linked to disease in young calves.

Type-C typically affects cattle, small ruminants, and swine, where it can contribute to hemorrhagic and necrotic enteritis.

Type-D, also known as pulpy kidney disease or overeating disease, is associated with small ruminants and cattle. C. perfringens Type-A and -C can also cause enterocolitis (swelling of the small and large intestines) in foals, with stock horse breeds such as quarter horses more susceptible.

Signs
Because of the aggressive nature of the disease, and rapid onset of death, it can be challenging to observe clinical signs in an infected animal. Upon closer examination of an animal prior to death, C. perfringens infection may present a variety of signs such as excitement, circling, head pressing, convulsions, listlessness, diarrhea, colic, or a disinterest in nursing.

Human health risk
It does not appear that C. perfringens presents a zoonotic risk.

CryptosporidiosisTop

Overview
Cryptosporidiosis is caused by microscopic intestinal parasites that are excreted through the feces of an infected animal. Found throughout the world, the parasites commonly interact with other enteropathogens to produce diarrhea and intestinal injury in neonatal farm animals such as piglets, kids, lambs, and foals. Studies have shown that concurrent infections with other pathogens such as coronavirus and rotavirus can result in more severe diarrhea.

While mortality rates in cryptosporidiosis are usually low, it can be fatal when complicated by other factors such as an animal experiencing energy deficit as a result of low colostrum or milk intake, concurrent infections, or chilling caused by adverse weather conditions.

Transmission of the disease may occur directly from animal to animal, or indirectly from environmental contamination, fecal contamination of the water or feed supply), or human transmission. Infection in calves can be detected as early as 5 days of age, with diarrhea occurring between 5 and 15 days of age. In small ruminants, infection can be associated with severe outbreaks of diarrhea, resulting in high mortality rates in lambs 4–10 days of age, and goat kids 5–21 days of age.

Although cryptosporidiosis is not generally regarded as an important enteric pathogen in pigs, infections can be seen over a broader age range (1 week of age to market age), and can contribute to postweaning malabsorptive diarrhea in infected pigs. Cryptosporidiosis is less prevalent in foals, but when infections do occur, it is typically at 5–8 weeks of age.

Signs
Signs of cryptosporidiosis can include diarrhea that persists for several days, significant weight loss, emaciation, apathy, anorexia, and dehydration.

Human health risk
Cryptosporidium can be a common nonviral cause of diarrhea in immunocompetent persons (e.g., children) and can have a severe health impact on immunocompromised persons. Infected animals can transmit the disease directly to humans, and there is also a risk of cryptosporidiosis being transmitted through surface and drinking water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected animal.

E. coli F4 (K88)Top

Overview
Escherichia coli is associated with diarrhea in young piglets, and may occur within a few days of birth, during the nursing period, or 1–2 weeks after the weaning period. There are at least two distinct types of diarrheal disease associated with different strains of the organism. One type has two virulence factors associated with the production of diarrhea, and fimbrial antigens such as F4 (K88) or F5 (K99) enable them to colonize villi of the small intestine These enteropathogens, also known as attaching and effacing E. coli, may produce verotoxins that contribute to more severe hemorrhagic diarrhea. The infection can reside in the colon, cecum, and distal small intestine, with severe infections causing edema, mucosal erosions, and ulceration.

Transmission routes include respiratory aerosol, fecal aerosol, and oral-fecal. Carrier animals may periodically excrete the organism in feces, and under the stress of parturition, excretion may increase. Nursing piglets are susceptible in these conditions if they come in contact with infected dams (skin or mammary glands) or contaminated rearing areas that have the potential to infect successive litters.

Signs
E. coli can cause the sudden onset of profuse diarrhea in pigs, leading to dehydration and a roughening of the animal's hair coat. Infected pigs may occasionally experience vomiting, subnormal body temperatures, and shivering. Diarrhea will typically persist until intervention occurs, and mortality rates can be high if husbandry and environmental conditions are poor. While these signs are consistent in pigs of all ages, they tend to be more severe in neonates.

Human health risk
Animals can be a reservoir for verotoxic E. coli serotypes associated with human hemolytic uremic syndrome and hemorrhagic colitis. Infection can occur through the consumption of contaminated food, but enteric livestock pathogens can also be transmitted to humans via direct contact that may occur during visits to petting zoos, farm tours, or livestock fairs.

Economic impact
Bovine respiratory complex in feedlot cattle, as well as acute intestinal disease in dairy cows, can contribute to financial losses and significant economic consequences.

E. coli F5 (K99)Top

Overview
Escherichia coli is associated with diarrhea in young piglets, and may occur within a few days of birth, during the nursing period, or 1–2 weeks after the weaning period. There are at least two distinct types of diarrheal disease associated with different strains of the organism. One type has two virulence factors associated with the production of diarrhea, and fimbrial antigens such as F4 (K88) or F5 (K99) enable them to colonize villi of the small intestine. These enteropathogens, also known as attaching and effacing E. coli, may produce verotoxins that contribute to more severe hemorrhagic diarrhea. The infection can reside in the colon, cecum, and distal small intestine, with severe infections causing edema, mucosal erosions and ulceration.

Transmission routes include respiratory aerosol, fecal aerosol, and oral–fecal. Carrier animals may periodically excrete the organism in feces, and under the stress of parturition, excretion may increase. Nursing piglets are susceptible in these conditions if they come in contact with infected dams (skin or mammary glands) or contaminated rearing areas that have the potential to infect successive litters.

Signs
E. coli can cause the sudden onset of profuse diarrhea in pigs, leading to dehydration and a roughening of the animal's hair coat. Infected pigs may occasionally experience vomiting, subnormal body temperatures, and shivering. Diarrhea will typically persist until intervention occurs, and mortality rates can be high if husbandry and environmental conditions are poor. While these signs are consistent in pigs of all ages, they tend to be more severe in neonates.

Human health risk
Animals can be a reservoir for verotoxic E. coli serotypes associated with human hemolytic uremic syndrome and hemorrhagic colitis. Infection can occur through the consumption of contaminated food, but enteric livestock pathogens can also be transmitted to humans via direct contact that may occur during visits to petting zoos, farm tours, or livestock fairs.

ErysipelasTop

Overview
One of the oldest swine related diseases, erysipelas is caused by Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, and resides in the tonsillar tissue of growing and adult swine. Over 28 unique serotypes have been recognized, and it’s believed that swine are susceptible to at least 15. In environments where E. rhusiopathiae is endemic, maternal-derived antibodies provide passive immunity to young swine and help to suppress clinical disease.

An environment’s soil and water can become contaminated when infected pigs shed the organism through nasal secretions and feces. Chronically infected, recovered, and healthy pigs can all become carriers of E. rhusiopathiae, which is typically transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated feed, water, or feces. Once ingested, the organism will enter the animal’s body through the gastrointestinal tract, lymphoid tissue, or tonsils.

Signs
Pigs infected with E. rhusiopathiae may display a variety of clinical signs including thirst, fever, depression, excessive squealing, and anorexia. Affected animals may also walk stiffly, and develop various types of skin discoloration ranging from purple discoloration of the abdomen, ears, and snout, to skin lesions distributed throughout their body. If this condition goes untreated, large areas of skin necrosis and separation can occur, along with tail and ear tips becoming necrotic.

The mortality for E. rhusiopathiae varies between 0 and 100%, but when death does occur, it will often happen within the first 6 days of an animal displaying clinical signs. Pregnant sows run the risk of aborting due to the fever associated with the disease, and untreated pigs may develop a chronic form of E. rhusiopathiae that is characterized by arthritis. Over time, affected joints enlarge and become painful to the touch.

Human health risk
Erysipelas is a zoonotic disease, causing a localized skin infection in humans.

Foot and mouth disease (FMD)Top

Overview
FMD is a highly contagious viral disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals and is widespread throughout the world. FMD cannot be differentiated clinically from other vesicular diseases such as swine vesicular disease (SVD). The virus is a member of the genus Apthovirus, of the family Picornaviridae. There are seven serotypes of FMD virus, O, A, C, SAT 1, SAT 2, SAT 3, and Asia 1. Infection with any one serotype does not confer immunity against other serotypes.

Of the domesticated species, cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats are susceptible to FMD.

Signs
Clinical signs of FMD are the appearance of vesicles (small blisters) on the feet, in and around the oral cavity, and on the mammary glands of females. Vesicles can also occur inside the nostrils and at pressure points on the limbs, especially in pigs.

Transmission generally occurs through contact between infected and susceptible animals. The virus can be excreted into the air during the acute phase of infection.

Human health risk
It does not appear that FMD presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
The presence of FMD is a very important economic threat to the livelihood of the livestock industry, due to the culling of herds and the restriction on meat exports from affected areas.

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Haemophilus parasuis / Glässer's diseaseTop

Overview
Prior to weaning, pigs can be colonized by various microorganisms, but some of the colonizing agents have the potential to be pathogenic. For example, Haemophilus parasuis causes a systemic disease, known as Glässer's disease, with an aggressive onset, rapid course, and high mortality rate that is characterized by arthritis, fibrinous polyserositis, and meningitis. H. parasuis has a worldwide distribution, and Glässer's disease primarily affects young pigs <8 weeks of age, though the disease is sometimes observed in adults. Recovered animals can develop fibrosis in the abdominal and thoracic cavities, resulting in decreased growth rate and carcass condemnation at slaughter.

H. parasuis is typically transmitted between infected sow and piglet during the lactation period, and may also occur between piglets that are grouped at nurseries and fattening units.

Signs
Typical signs of H. parasuis infection may include excessive coughing, fever, abdominal breathing, swollen joints, depression, loss of appetite, and central nervous system signs such as trembling and paddling.

The typical clinical signs of acute Glässer's disease include high fever (41.5°C), severe coughing, abdominal breathing, swollen joints, and central nervous system signs such as lateral decubitus, paddling, and trembling. These signs may be seen jointly or independently.

As a result of severe fibrosis in the thoracic and peritoneal cavities, chronically affected animals can experience decreased growth rate and sudden death.

Human health risk
It does not appear that H. parasuis presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
Acute outbreaks of H. parasuis within naive herds can contribute to high production and control costs as a result of the high mortality rates associated with the disease.

Hepatitis E virus (HEV)Top

Overview
HEV belongs to the family Hepeviridae. HEV consists of one serotype that is divided into four genotypes. Only genotypes 3 and 4 have been demonstrated to infect pigs. Genotype 3 represents the most frequently occurring genotype in pigs in industrialized countries.

Infections in pigs are mostly asymptomatic. Pigs excrete the virus through urine and feces. The virus has been shown to accumulate in muscle tissue and several organs in pigs.

Signs
Potential signs include anorexia, asthma, high fever (about 41°C), and significant neurological symptoms.

Human health risk
In humans, HEV infections can follow an asymptomatic or subclinical course, but can also become acute. Acute hepatitis E is a severe illness; its clinical manifestation is comparable to that of hepatitis A, with an estimated mortality rate of 0.5%–4.0%.

HEV infections in humans have long been thought to occur only in travelers to HEV endemic regions. In recent years, however, increasing numbers of sporadic HEV infections in non-endemic regions have been reported that cannot be associated with traveling, and increasing evidence points to a transmission from farmed pigs to humans. In most countries, there is limited knowledge about the prevalence of HEV infections in pigs, and consequently about the risk for consumers. Therefore, there is a need to gain more information and to implement control strategies in order to tackle the potential food safety issue at an early stage.

Economic impact
Most infections in pigs are subclinical and the economic impact for pig breeders is low. HEV infections in pigs represent a potential food safety issue. More information is needed about its impact on human health care costs.

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Lawsonia intracellularisTop

Epidemiology
L. intracellularis is an obligate intracellular gram-negative bacillus that is the infectious agent of proliferative enteritis (PE). PE is most common in pigs, but it can also affect horses, dogs, and rabbits. In pigs, PE tends to strike animals of between 6 and 20 weeks of age, but it can also affect younger animals or animals of several years of age.

PE is usually chronic, causing gray diarrhea and retarded growth. Acute forms are sometimes seen, with gastrointestinal bleeding (soft, black stools) followed by death. PE is found in pigs all over the world and has major economic impact.

Signs
PE corresponds to a set of disorders characterized by thickening of the mucosa of the small (and sometimes the large) intestine due to proliferation of gut epithelial cells. The resultant epithelium is immature with no goblet cells, and sometimes shows traumatic mucosal damage.

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Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M.hyo)Top

Overview
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae occurs worldwide and causes a chronic infectious pneumonia of pigs that is characterized by a persistent dry cough, decreased growth rate, and sporadic respiratory distress. M. hyopneumoniae can be transmitted from dams, cohorts, or exposure to other older pigs, as well as coughing and nose-to-nose contact with infected carriers.

Signs
Coughing is the primary sign of M. hyopneumoniae, and in herds where the disease is endemic, morbidity is high, but mortality rates are typically low.

Human health risk
It does not appear that M. hyopneumoniae presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
M. hyopneumoniae can be a significant economic burden, particularly when Swine influenza virus (SIV) or porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is endemic.

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Mycobacterium aviumTop

Overview
Mycobacterium avium belongs to the M. avium complex (MAC), which comprises 28 serotypes. Serotypes 1-6, 8-1, and 21 belong to M. avium subsp. avium (MAA), most of which can infect both humans and pigs. MAA infections in pigs are mostly subclinical. The only visible signs are granulomatous lesions that occur in the lymph nodes of most animals.

Currently, diagnosis of MAA infections in pigs is based on palpation and the incision of lymph nodes at slaughter. This traditional method has a disadvantage, as MAA has been isolated from lymph nodes without lesions and these infected animals would thus not be detected. Additionally, infections with non-mycobacterial species such as Rhodococcus equi can induce granulomatous lesions as well and have resulted in misdiagnosed animals. Furthermore, the current detection method is both cumbersome and time consuming.

Risk-based surveillance for MAA, based on serology, can improve MAA control and therefore enhance the health status of the herd with regard to M. avium. With serology testing, MAA infections in herds can be controlled much more efficiently and effectively than with the traditional method.

Signs
Generalized signs include progressive emaciation, lethargy, weakness, anorexia, and a low-grade, fluctuating fever.

Human health risk
Several studies have suggested zoonotic transmission from pigs to humans, where the pathogen can induce a broad range of symptoms in immunodeficient individuals, as well as pulmonary disease in immunocompetent humans.

Economic impact
Most infections in pigs are subclinical and the economic impact for pig breeders is low. More information is needed about the prevalence of MAA infections in humans and the impact on human health care costs.

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PasteurellosisTop

Epidemiology
Pasteurella multocida is a nonmotile, asporous, encapsulated, gram-negative coccobacillus. It is the most important species in veterinary medicine. It is a parasite or saprophyte of the respiratory and digestive mucosae of diverse animal species. It usually becomes pathogenic at times of stress.

Found throughout the world, this species causes avian cholera, atrophic rhinitis in pigs, rabbits, and small ruminants, haemorrhagic septicaemia in bovids, pneumonia in ruminants and pigs, and respiratory problems in carnivores, rodents, and lagomorphs. Toxinogenic (dermatonecrotic) P. multocida expresses a protein that breaks down connective tissue in the airways of pigs and rabbits.

Signs
The main signs of brachyspirosis are diarrhea, weight loss, delayed growth and, in the most severe forms, dehydration.

Economic impact
Porcine dysentery has serious economic repercussions because of its mortality (up to 50% in a given unit) and, to an even greater extent, delayed growth (slaughter can be delayed by 28 days), and the cost of treatment. In addition, cured animals constitute a danger since they may still be excreting the bacterium.

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ParvovirosisTop

Epidemiology
Stillbirth, mummification, embryonic death, and infertility (SMEDI) is a common contagious disease in swine that is found in many countries around the world. It is caused by the single-stranded DNA porcine parvovirus (PPV), which belongs to the Parvoviridae family. The infection starts in one or more fetuses and then spreads inside the uterus to most of the litter, so live piglets can be delivered together with mummified fetuses.

Signs
After infection of a naive pregnant sow, PPV causes reproductive problems with stillbirth, mummification, embryonic death, infertility, irregular return of heat, and small litter size.

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Type 2 porcine circovirus (PCV2)Top

Epidemiology
PCV2 is a DNA virus classified in the Circovirus genus of the Circoviridae family. This virus is now recognized as the main infectious agent involved in the development of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). PCV2 is mainly excreted in the feces and urine, but is also found in bronchial and nasal secretions. Its transmission is mainly horizontal through healthy carriers and sick animals.

Signs
The main signs are wasting, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and jaundice, which are often associated with superinfecting bacteria. PMWS strikes weaned piglets between 5 and 18 weeks of age, but reproductive problems—abortion, stillbirth, and premature delivery—have also been observed in sows.

Prevalence and impact on the herd
PMWS is found throughout the world (many countries in Europe, North America, and Asia) and causes heavy economic losses because of its impact on breeding performance.

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Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED)Top

Overview
Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus is most prevalent in China and European countries and was diagnosed for the first time in the United States in April 2013. The disease occurs only in pigs and is caused by a coronavirus that is similar to that which causes transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE). The virus damages the villi in the gut of the animal producing acute and severe diarrhea outbreaks that are quickly transmitted across pigs of all ages. In susceptible populations, acute outbreaks of diarrhea may affect up to 100% of sows, and can result it two clinical scenarios: PED Type I, which affects growing pigs and PED Type II affects animals all ages from suckling pigs to mature sows. Diarrhea may persist for up to 14 days and may contribute to mortality rates of 60% - 100% in suckling pigs.

Transmission occurs primarily by direct fecal-oral route, and no vector or reservoir has been implicated in its spread. There is also the potential for the disease to be transmitted indirectly though clothing, personnel or transportation vehicles.

Signs
Clinical signs of PED closely resemble a TGE outbreak and typically include watery diarrhea in pigs, as well as vomiting, fever, colic and death depending upon the age of the animal. PED will usually spread more slowly within farms than TGE, and the disease is associated with a longer incubation period of 3 - 4 days. While PED and TGE are caused by similar coronaviruses cross immunity is not provided with infection of either virus.

Human health risk
It does not appear that PED presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea can create substantial economic loss because the disease is highly infectious can contribute to significant death and production loss in pigs. Further monetary loss may also occur as a result of treatment and biosecurity costs. Consumers may also incur economic burden in the form of higher pork product prices.

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Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS)Top

Overview
PRRS is a highly contagious disease found in swine (pigs and wild boars). It is caused by a virus belonging to the Arterivirus family that also contains the causative agents of equine arteritis and simian hemorrhagic fever. The PRRS virus is a small (50–60 nm), enveloped RNA virus with at least two different membrane proteins at its surface, which are probably the antigens that elicit the serological responses detected in infected pigs.

The PRRS virus has immunosuppressive activity and kills the macrophages in the lung, inside which it replicates. This probably helps compromise pulmonary resistance to other infectious viruses and bacteria. Viral particles are secreted in all bodily secretions, including nasal secretions, feces, and sperm, as well as in aborted fetal tissue and placenta. This disease is spread throughout the world and affects domesticated pigs in particular.

Signs
The virus causes respiratory and influenza-like symptoms as well as fertility problems, abortion, and the birth of runts.

Human health risk
It does not appear that PRRS presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
PRRS is one of the most economically damaging diseases for the pig industry. Reduced reproduction rates and decreased weight gain performance of infected animals can lead to substantial economic damage for farming operations.

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Porcine respiratory corona virus (PRCV)Top

Overview
A relatively new virus, PRCV first appeared in Europe approximately 10 years ago, but presently affects most countries throughout the world. PRCV is a respiratory-spread disease that has the ability to travel extended distances, and as a result, it is very difficult to maintain PRCV-free herds.

PRCV infects pigs of all ages, with transmission of the disease occurring through direct contact or airborne routes. The timing and extent of infection within a herd can be greatly influenced by season, swine population density, and the distance between farms.

Signs
Pigs infected with PRCV may display a transient cough that lasts for a few hours. While the disease is often found in mixed infections with PRRS, mycoplasma, and influenza, it is uncertain what role, if any, the disease plays in those infection scenarios.

Human health risk
It does not appear that PRCV presents a zoonotic risk.

RotavirusTop

Overview
Rotaviruses affect swine populations worldwide, causing diarrhea in nursing and post-weaned pigs that can result in high morbidity and low mortality if the diarrhea is not complicated by other health factors. Combined infection with other diarrheal diseases such as transmissible gastroenteritis or salmonellosis can cause more extreme clinical signs and higher mortality rates.

Rotaviruses are differentiated by seven antigenically distinct serogroups (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), four of which (A, B, C, E) directly affect swine. While type A is the most well-known and prevalent of the serogroups, type C has also been associated with outbreaks. Rotaviruses most likely circulate constantly within large swine herds, where young pigs are exposed to the disease through their contaminated environment or the virus shed from infected carriers.

The rotavirus is transmitted through the fecal–oral route, and once ingested, the virus travels to the small intestine, where it damages epithelial cells that reside on the tips of villi, resulting in villous atrophy.

Signs
The primary sign of rotavirus is white-to-yellow colored diarrhea that typically continues for several days until a pig develops an active immunity. Additional signs may include moderate dehydration and vomiting. Morbidity varies and mortality rates are typically low in the presence of good husbandry and housing conditions, but those rates may increase if poor husbandry, exposure to cold, or concurrent disease is involved.

Human health risk
Rotavirus is considered to be zoonotic, and can be transmitted to humans.

Economic impact
Increased morbidity, increased mortality, treatment costs, and reduced growth rates due to swine diarrhea can be responsible for significant economic loss.

SalmonellosisTop

Overview
Salmonellosis is an infection caused by Salmonella bacteria. The presence of salmonellosis has been identified in countries throughout the world, but appears to be most prevalent in areas of intensive animal husbandry, especially occurring in pigs, calves, and some types of poultry.

The disease can affect all domestic animals; however, young animals and pregnant or lactating animals are the most susceptible to the disease. The clinical signs that may be seen are abortion, arthritis, respiratory disease, and acute septicemia. Enteric disease, often presenting as a bloody, watery diarrhea with pyrexia, is the most common clinical manifestation.

Many animals, especially pigs, cattle, and poultry, may also be infected but show no clinical illness. Such animals may be important in relation to the spread of infection between flocks and herds and also as a source of food contamination and human infection.

Signs
Typical clinical signs can include fever and severe watery diarrhea with subsequent rapid onset of dehydration. The diarrhea is usually putrid and may contain blood and mucus. Salmonellae produce toxins that can contribute to gut damage and have systemic effects. If sufficient damage occurs to the intestinal lining, the bacteria may enter the bloodstream, resulting in septicemia, and the bacteria can spread to the brain, lungs, joints, uterus (causing abortion in pregnant cows), and other organs.

Human health risk
Salmonellosis is one of the most important zoonotic diseases that can cause serious clinical symptoms in humans. Pigs, cattle, poultry, and eggs have been recognized as important sources of these Salmonella infections. The existence of this disease presents great risks for human health. Salmonella infections of animals intended for the food industry play an important role in public health, as these animals are considered to be the major source of human Salmonella infections.

Economic impact
Salmonellosis has a serious economic impact on the cattle industry worldwide. Livestock mortality, treatment costs, abortion, reduced production, discarded milk, and reduced consumer confidence all contribute to the cost of Salmonella to cattle industries.

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Brachyspira hyodysenteriae / Swine dysenteryTop

Overview
Brachyspira hyodysenteriae causes a disease known as swine dysentery, a mucohemorrhagic diarrheal disease that affects the large intestine of pigs. B. hyodysenteriae grows within the large intestine, causing degeneration of the superficial mucosa, hypersecretion of mucus, and multifocal bleeding points on the mucosal surface. The inability of the mucosa to reabsorb endogenous secretions from the small intestine results in diarrhea.

B. hyodysenteriae can be transmitted through the ingestion of infected feces or from carrier pigs shedding the organism in feces for extended periods of time.

Signs
Signs of B. hyodysenteriae infection typically include fever, mucoid diarrhea, anorexia, dehydration, emaciation, and profound weakness.

Human health risk
It does not appear that B. hyodysenteriae presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
Increased morbidity, increased mortality, treatment costs, and reduced growth rates due to swine diarrhea can be responsible for significant economic loss.

Swine influenzaTop

Epidemiology
Swine influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of pigs. The infection is transmitted when an animal comes into contact with secretions containing viral particles, notably in aerosols generated by coughing, sneezing, and the projection of nasal discharges.

Signs
Swine influenza virus (SIV) causes a respiratory disease characterized by coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, high rectal temperature, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and loss of appetite. In some cases, SIV infection can cause reproductive problems and abortion.

Signs and nasal excretion of the virus can begin within 24 hours of infection. Although mortality tends to be low, morbidity can reach 100% and secondary bacterial superinfection can exacerbate the signs of SIV infection.

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Swine vesicular disease (SVD)Top

Overview
SVD is a highly contagious disease of pigs and the virus causing it (SVDV) is part of the Enterovirus genus in the family Picornaviridae. Although symptoms of the disease are often mild, it is an Office International des Epizooties (OIE) list A disease, as it is clinically indistinguishable from foot and mouth disease (FMD). For this reason, outbreaks of SVD are assumed to be FMD until laboratory diagnosis proves otherwise.

The virus may be spread into the environment through excretions from the nose and mouth and may also be found in the feces.

Signs
SVD is typically characterized by the presence of vesicles on the coronary bands, heels of the feet, and occasionally on the lips, tongue, snout, and teats of infected animals.

Human health risk
It does not appear that SVDV presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
An outbreak of SVD can have a significant economic impact on the meat production industry as a result of the need to cull infected herds to eliminate the disease. Temporary trade restrictions on meat exports are likely to be imposed.

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ToxoplasmosisTop

Overview
Toxoplasmosis is caused by the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which belongs to the family of the Sarcocystiidae. Toxoplasma infections are widespread in humans and many other species of warm-blooded animals, including pigs, sheep, and goats. Occurrence is worldwide; however, the prevalence in human and animal populations varies greatly among countries.

Infection occurs as a result of consuming raw or undercooked meat that contains tissue cysts and tachyzoites, or by food or water contaminated with oocysts. Toxoplasma-infected meat and meat products are considered to be an important source for human infection.

Signs
Most swine infections are subclinical, but toxoplasmosis can cause clinical signs in pigs of all ages. Clinical toxoplasmosis has been reported most often in nursing pigs. Infected pigs are born dead, sick, or become sick within 3 weeks after birth; some remain clinically normal. Labored respiration is the most common clinical sign of toxoplasmosis. Other clinical signs include fever, general weakness, diarrhea, nervous signs, and rarely, loss of vision.

Human health risk
In humans, toxoplasma infections are also mostly asymptomatic. Clinical signs are mostly known to appear in immunosuppressed individuals, where an infection can cause severe neurological disease. Recent studies have shown, however, that immunocompetent persons may develop clinical toxoplasmosis more frequently than previously thought. The Panel on Biological Hazards considers toxoplasmosis to be an underdetected and underreported disease in the European Union (EFSA J 583:1-64, 2007), and has recently ranked Toxoplasma gondii and pathogenic verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) as "the most relevant biological hazards for meat inspection of sheep and goats" (EFSA J 11:3265, 2013).

The Emerging Pathogens Institute of the University of Florida ranks toxoplasmosis as the number 2 public health burden among foodborne infections in its publication "Ranking the Risks: The 10 Pathogen-Food Combinations with The Greatest Burden on Public Health."

Economic impact
Because of the risk of human infection, the meat production industry can be severely affected when a toxoplasma infection occurs. Surveillance and diagnosis of infected pig, sheep, and goat herds can be easily achieved by testing for Toxoplasma antibodies in the animal’s serum, plasma, or meat juice.

Toxoplasma in small ruminants causes losses to herds due to abortion, stillbirth, or the birth of weak lambs. The implementation of appropriate measures based on the test results can significantly improve the health status of a herd.

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Transmissible gastroenteritisTop

Overview
TGE destroys villous epithelial cells within the small intestine of swine, resulting in villous atrophy, malabsorption, diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. The incubation period is approximately 18 hours, and the infection is capable of spreading rapidly through contact or aerosol exposure.

Because of the causative virus’s ability to persist in colder temperatures, severe epidemics are common during the winter.

Signs
The clinical signs of TGE can include vomiting, profuse diarrhea, dehydration, and excessive thirst. In piglets that are less than 1 week old, mortality is nearly 100%, whereas pigs older than 1 month seldom die from the disease. Mortality is nearly 100% in piglets >1 week old, whereas pigs <1 month old seldom die. Gestating sows often exhibit vomiting and diarrhea, and may occasionally abort.

Human health risk
It does not appear that TGE presents a zoonotic risk.

Economic impact
TGE can be a significant cause of economic loss in breeding herds, primarily because of the very high piglet mortality, although it is of less importance in rearing and finishing herds.

TrichinellosisTop

Overview
Trichinellosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide and is caused by the nematode Trichinella. The roundworm Trichinella spp. infects many carnivorous and omnivorous animal species, including domestic pigs. Currently, 11 different subspecies have been recognized in this genus. The species that are of main importance in Europe are Trichinella spiralis, Trichinella britovi, Trichinella pseudospiralis, and Trichinella nativa. T. spiralis is of main concern because domestic pigs show a high susceptibility to this genotype. T. britovi is mostly found in wildlife.

T. pseudospiralis is a nonencapsulating species, meaning that it does not form the characteristic capsule of other species (e.g., T. spiralis). Another characteristic of T. pseudospiralis is that it can also infect birds. T. nativa is commonly found in wildlife, is a cold climate–adapted species, and is resistant to freezing. The worm can infect any species of mammal that consumes its encysted larval stages.

In the European Union, trichinellosis is commonly detected in areas of traditional agriculture where pigs are reared in small holdings with insufficient control measures. Occasionally, cases can also occur in holdings with good farm management practices in place.

Signs
Most infections in domestic and wild animals go undiagnosed. Although antemortem diagnosis in animals other than people is rare, trichinellosis may be suspected if there is a history of eating rodents, wildlife carcasses, or raw infected meat.

Human health risk
Human health can be affected by all species of Trichinella. Humans can be infected by eating raw or insufficiently cooked meat. The symptoms of a Trichinella infection at first are diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, fever, and abdominal discomfort. At a later stage, headache, fever, chills, cough, eye swelling, aching joints and muscle pains, itchy skin, diarrhea, or constipation can occur.

At an advanced stage of infection, the patient will likely have difficulty coordinating movements and will have heart and breathing problems. In some cases, infection can cause death. Every year, at least 90 human cases of infection are reported in the European Union and EEA/EFTA countries.

Economic impact
The European Union spends millions of euros every year testing pig meat for the presence of Trichinella. These costs will likely increase as a result of the EC regulation 2075/2005 that came into effect in 2006, requiring the testing of all pig carcasses for trichinellosis.

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