Split marketing as a risk factor for Salmonella enterica infection in swine.

Livestock Behavior Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease (Impact Factor: 2.09). 09/2009; 6(7):865-9. DOI: 10.1089/fpd.2009.0309
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT On-farm reduction of Salmonella carriage prevalence in pigs requires the identification of risk factors to direct interventions development. This study was designed to determine if split marketing of finishing pigs constitutes a risk factor for Salmonella infections, by comparing Salmonella prevalence in the first group of pigs selected for harvest ("first pull") versus the prevalence in the last group of pigs selected for harvest ("close out") from multiple commercial finishing lots. Nine paired samplings were conducted consisting in matched groups of pigs from individual barns as the first pull and the close out with a 4-week interval between groups. From each group, fecal and meat samples were collected, on-farm and at harvest, respectively. Fecal samples were selectively enriched, and analyzed for the presence of Salmonella, whereas meat juice samples were analyzed for the presence of antibodies against Salmonella. In 7/9 (77.8%) of the studied barns, an increase in Salmonella prevalence was observed, based on both bacteriologic and serologic analysis. Overall, there was an increase of 9.2% (p < 0.05) in bacteriologic prevalence, and 31.3% (p < 0.05) in serologic prevalence from first pull to close out groups. This study demonstrates that a significant increase in Salmonella prevalence occurs between the first and the last group of pigs harvested from finishing lots, with close out groups of market pigs posing a higher risk for Salmonella contaminations.

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