Association between average daily gain, faecal dry matter content and concentration of Lawsonia intracellularis in faeces

Ken Steen Pedersen, Rikke Skrubel, Helle Stege, Øystein Angen, Marie Ståhl, Charlotte Kristiane Hjulsager, Lars Erik Larsen, Jens Peter Nielsen

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    The objective of this study was to investigate the association between average daily gain and the number of Lawsonia intracellularis bacteria in faeces of growing pigs with different levels of diarrhoea.

    A longitudinal field study (n?=?150 pigs) was performed in a Danish herd from day 29 to 47 post weaning. Every third day all pigs were weighed, subjected to a clinical examination and faecal samples were obtained. Faecal samples were subjected to dry matter determination and absolute quantification by PCR for L. intracellularis and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2). Association between average daily gain, faecal dry matter content, numbers of L. intracellularis bacteria and PCV2 genome copies in faeces was investigated in a multilevel mixed-effects linear model.

    Increasing numbers of L. intracellularis log10 bacteria/g faeces were significantly associated with decreasing average daily gain (P?<?0.001). The association was decreasing with increasing faecal dry matter content (P?<?0.01). The number of PCV2 log10 copies/g faeces was not significantly associated with average daily gain of the pigs (P?>?0.5).

    The results suggest a potential application of a PCR quantifying L. intracellularis in growing pigs. Faecal dry matter content must be taken into consideration in interpretation of such test results.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Veterinaria Scandinavica (Online)
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)58
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    • Lawsonia intracellularis
    • Porcine circovirus type 2
    • Quantitative PCR
    • Pig

    Cite this

    Pedersen, K. S., Skrubel, R., Stege, H., Angen, Ø., Ståhl, M., Hjulsager, C. K., Larsen, L. E., & Nielsen, J. P. (2012). Association between average daily gain, faecal dry matter content and concentration of Lawsonia intracellularis in faeces. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica (Online), 54(1), 58.