|Ebert, R - PRIVATE VET PRACTITIONER|
Submitted to: Proceedings of Allen D Leman Swine Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 16, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Economically, colibacillosis is the number-one disease of suckling piglets and Escherichia coli diarrhea is the third most prevalent disease of nursery-age pigs in the U.S. (NAHMS Swine: Part II). Disease induced by E. coli has become increasingly difficult to treat because of the build-up of antibiotic resistance. We have developed a recombined, porcine-derived competitive exclusion culture of known bacterial composition (designated RPCF) that has been shown to protect neonatal and nursery-age pigs from challenge with pathogenic strains of E. coli. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of this RPCF culture to protect nursery-age pigs in a commercial swine operation from field challenge by an enterotoxigenic strain (F-18) of E. coli. In field trials involving 2 nursery farms, piglets were administered the RPCF culture within 24 h of birth, monitored throughout the nursery period, and the production records of RPCF-treated pigs were compared to untreated pigs from the same farm. On Farm #1, the RPCF-treated pigs had 0.56% less mortality than the untreated pigs (1.44% vs. 2.00%, respectively), and medication costs in the RPCF-treated pigs were reduced by $0.07 per pig. When projected on an annual basis (27,000 pigs), decreased mortality and medication costs would show a cost benefit of $7,938. On Farm #2, mortality was 8.3% in untreated pigs compared to 1.07% in RPCF-treated, and medication costs were reduced by $0.70 per pig in the RPCF-treated. Annually (27,000 pigs), this would translate to an on-farm savings of $78,084 for mortality (1,952 more pigs at $40/pig), and $18,900 for medication costs. Both farms had a history of mortality (5-11%) and morbidity from an F-18 strain of E. coli, and although broad-spectrum antibiotics had been utilized, control of the disease was limited. While it is obvious that Farm #1 did not have the severity of problems that Farm #2 had, there was still a cost benefit from RPCF use on Farm #1. Only RPCF-treated pigs have been placed on Farm #2 for 3 production cycles and no new outbreaks of E. coli have occurred. Results of these field trials indicate that under commercial conditions the competitive exclusion culture was effective in controlling disease induced by enterotoxigenic E. coli and RPCF may be a viable alternative to the use of antibiotics. Additional trials are in progress and swine industry participation is solicited for continued evaluation prior to commercial development of RPCF.