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Herd-level risk factors for faecal shedding of Salmonella enterica in Spanish fattening pigs

García-Feliz, Carina, Carvajal, Ana, Collazos, Jesús Ángel, Rubio, Pedro
Preventive veterinary medicine 2009 v.91 no.2-4 pp. 130-136
swine, swine diseases, Salmonella enterica, swine feeding, finishing, risk factors, disease transmission, fecal egg count, cross-sectional studies, pelleted feeds, farm size, questionnaires, Spain
Herd-level risk factors for faecal shedding of Salmonella enterica were investigated in a cross-sectional study on Spanish finishing units. For this purpose, 10 faecal samples were collected from 10 different pens containing pigs close to market weight in a total of 232 fattening units. The total sample size was proportionally distributed according to the fattener census in each of the regions and provinces of the country in order to ensure a sample representative of the entire swine population. All samples were individually examined by culture of 25g of faecal material. Data regarding characteristics and management of each fattening unit were collected by means of a questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to detect relationships between the detection of faecal shedding of S. enterica and potential herd-level risk factors. The feeding of pelleted feed was associated with an increased risk of culture-positive faecal samples (OR=2.28; 95% CI: 1.22, 4.26). The odds of a farm being Salmonella positive were associated with its size. Fattening units that slaughtered more than 3500 pigs per year had a higher risk for Salmonella faecal shedding (OR=1.78; 95% CI: 0.96, 3.31). Interventions at these two points should be considered when designing or managing growing pig facilities to reduce Salmonella faecal shedding by fatteners.