Infectious and rearing-system related risk factors for chronic pleuritis in slaughter pigs

Claes Enøe, Jan Mousing, Anna Luise Schirmer, Preben Willeberg

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Chronic pleuritis (CP) in Danish pigs for slaughter is by far the most frequent finding at the routine post-mortem meat inspection. An initial investigation published in 1990 demonstrated infectious and management-related risk factors. Serological testing for additional infectious agents, as well as the need to consider the effect of disease clustering at the herd level, required a re-analysis of the data. Our re-analysis used a representative sample of 4800 pigs originating from 623 Danish herds. Each pig was examined for the presence of CP and progressive atrophic rhinitis (PAR). The gender of the pig, the weight of the carcass, and the herd of origin were also recorded. Individual blood samples were examined for seropositivity for Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (AP) serotypes 2, 6, 7, 12, Haemophilus parasuis, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MYC) and swine influenza (SI). Herd-level information retrieved through a questionnaire included health status, production type, herd size (i.e. pigs per year) and vaccination procedures. Associations between CP and infectious, individual and herd-related factors were investigated by logistic regression with random effects. Among pigs from herds with conventional health status, seropositivity for AP serotypes 2 and 6, and MYC had odds ratios (ORs) of CP of 9.0, 1.6 and 1.8, respectively. Neither seropositivity for AP serotype 7 nor SI were associated with CP by themselves, but interacted: OR of CP of 5.3 (1.8) when present at the same time among pigs exhibiting (not exhibiting) PAR. An association of PAR with CP was found, and PAR interacted with AP serotype 7: OR = 10.0 (4.3) when both factors were present among pigs exposed (non-exposed) to SI. The OR (0.97) for an increase of carcass weight by 1 kg was negligible. In pigs from specific pathogen-free (SPF) herds, seropositivity for MYC and herd size were associated with CP Moreover, for a herd size of 1000 pigs, CP was associated with exposure to MYC by an OR of 3.3 (decreasing to 1.9 when the herd size was increased by 1000). Farrow-to-finish as opposed to finishing herd had an OR of CP of 3.2. In conventional herds, seropositivity for AP serotype 2 and MYC were associated with 51% and 29% of the occurrence of CP. In SPF herds, farrow-to-finish as opposed to finishing herds was associated with 47% of the occurrence of CR Seropositivity for MYC was associated with 33% (39%) of the occurrence of CP in herds with a size > (less than or equal to) 1500 pigs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)337-349
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • viral pathogens
    • chronic pleuritis
    • etiologic fractions
    • bacterial pathogens
    • pigs
    • management factors


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