AbstractThe research presented in this Thesis assessed 1) the dynamics of infection of M. hyopneumoniae at a herd level and its relationship with production systems and 2) its detection in three respiratory levels (nasal cavities, tonsil and bronchi), taking into account the presence of seroconversion and macroscopic and microscopic lung lesions suggestive of Enzootic Pneumonia (EP)
The studies on infection dynamics showed that the factor with greatest effect on M. hyopneumoniae circulation pattern was the farm. Even within a farm, significant differences in the dynamics of infection between different batches were observed, which were also related with different degrees and timings of M. hyopneumoniae -related lesions appearance.
Moreover, the type of production system (1/2-site versus 3-site herds) was another factor that influenced M.hyopneumoniae infection dynamics. Results of our field trial in regards M.hyopneumoniae, involving 12 Spanish herds clearly support the characteristic late appearance of Porcine Respiratory Disease Complex (PRDC) in multisite production systems. M. hyopneumoniae colonization in nurseries was lower and occurred later in time in 3-site versus in 1/2-site production systems. Moreover, an abrupt increase in the proportion of infected animals, associated with late respiratory outbreaks was seen in the multisite production systems.
Although M. hyopneumoniae infection was detected in all farms, it was not always involved in the respiratory disease. An important contribution of this work is that, although seroconversion and M. hyopneumoniae infection were detected in all herds, clinical and subclinical infections were described. This is important for decision making on the control strategies to implement at the farm. Serumprofiles were not discriminative to determine the involvement of M. hyopneumoniae in a clinical outbreak. Bacteriumprofiles were more useful in determining M. hyopneumoniae involvement in respiratory disease, since an increase of the proportion of infected pigs (based on detection of M. hyopneumoniae in nasal swabs) was clearly related with appearance of the clinical outbreak. Although not discriminative, the proportion of seropositive pigs was also greater in clinically than in subclinically infected herds.
Dynamics of serocoversion against M. hyopneumoniae was another issue addressed in both, transversal and longitudinal field trials. Several authors have described the time of seroconversion under field conditions as slow, delayed and vaery variable. In field studies presented here time of seroconversion was also variable. Seroconversion was more related to detection of M. hyopneumoniae in bronchial swabs rather than in nasal or tonsillar swabs, and to the detection of a higher percentage of pigs with a positive nPCR bronchial swab.
As expected, bronchial swabs were the best predictors of presence of microscopic and gross EP lesions coinciding with previously published studies. However, to sample bronchial swabs from live animals is not possible. Surprisingly, the relative proportion of nasal detection was lower in the field study than in the study using pigs received at the diagnostic laboratory. An increase of M.hyopneumoniae shedding in nasal cavities due to stressful situations (such as transport) or due to increase multiplication of bacteria after the animal's death have been proposed as potential explanations for a larger proportion nPCR positive nasal samples obtained in diagnostic samples.
Results of this study demonstrated that detection of M.hyopneumoniae in tonsil where no ciliated epithelial cells exists, is possible. Although tonsillar sampling in live animals is more laborious than nasal samplings, it is possibly more adequate to monitor M. hyopneumoniae detection at a farm level.
Results obtained in this Thesis and from previous works, showed that when bronchial swabs are positive the probability to show EP-compatible microscopic lesions in the animal is high. However, presence of EP-compatible lesions does not always imply M. hyopneumoniae detection in bronchi, and that may be caused by other pathogens such as SIV.
|Date of Award||8 Jan 2016|
|Supervisor||Josep Rialp-Criado (Director)|