Etiology of acute respiratory disease in fattening pigs in Finland

Minna Haimi-Hakala, Outi Hälli, Tapio Laurila, Mirja Raunio-Saarnisto, Tiina Nokireki, Taina Laine, Suvi Nykäsenoja, Kirsti Pelkola, Joaquim Segales, Marina Sibila, Claudio Oliviero, Olli Peltoniemi, Sinikka Pelkonen, Mari Heinonen

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14 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author(s). 2018. Background: The objective of our study was to clinically and etiologically investigate acute outbreaks of respiratory disease in Finland. Our study also aimed to evaluate the clinical use of various methods in diagnosing respiratory infections under field conditions and to describe the antimicrobial resistance profile of the main bacterial pathogen(s) found during the study. Methods: A total of 20 case herds having finishing pigs showing acute respiratory symptoms and eight control herds showing no clinical signs suggesting of respiratory problems were enrolled in the study. Researchers visited each herd twice, examining and bleeding 20 pigs per herd. In addition, nasal swab samples were taken from 20 pigs and three pigs per case herd were necropsied during the first visit. Serology was used to detect Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP), swine influenza virus (SIV), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), porcine respiratory coronavirus (PRCV) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antibodies. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to investigate the presence of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) in serumand SIV in the nasal and lung samples. Pathology and bacteriology, including antimicrobial resistance determination, were performed on lung samples obtained from the field necropsies. Results: According to the pathology and bacteriology of the lung samples, APP and Ascaris suum were the main causes of respiratory outbreaks in 14 and three herds respectively, while the clinical signs in three other herds had a miscellaneous etiology. SIV, APP and PCV2 caused concurrent infections in certain herds but they were detected serologically or with PCR also in control herds, suggesting possible subclinical infections. APP was isolated from 16 (80%) case herds. Marked resistance was observed against tetracycline for APP, some resistance was detected against trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ampicillin and penicillin, and no resistance against florfenicol, enrofloxacin, tulathromycin or tiamulin was found. Serology, even from paired serum samples, gave inconclusive results for acute APP infection diagnosis. Conclusions: APP was the most common cause for acute respiratory outbreaks in our study. SIV, A. suum, PCV2 and certain opportunistic bacteria were also detected during the outbreaks; however, viral pathogens appeared less important than bacteria. Necropsies supplemented with microbiology were the most efficient diagnostic methods in characterizing the studied outbreaks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
JournalPorcine health management
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2017


  • Actinobacillosis
  • Acute
  • Ascaris
  • Necropsy
  • Outbreak
  • Pathogen
  • Pig
  • Respiratory
  • Swine influenza


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