Campylobacter from sows in farrow-to-finish pig farms: risk indicators and genetic diversity

Vet Microbiol. 2011 Dec 29;154(1-2):163-70. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Sows have been identified as a source of Campylobacter contamination in piglets. We carried out a one-year study, in 2008, at 53 farrow-to-finish farms in Brittany, France, to determine the proportion of sows excreting Campylobacter. We also determined the genotypes of the Campylobacter isolates. Moreover, Generalized Estimating Equations including repeated effects were used to assess the association between management practices and farm characteristics, and risk of Campylobacter shedding by sows. Per farm, 10 feces samples from sows were collected from selected sites (maternity, service area, gestation area) on the farms. Campylobacter isolates were identified by PCR and typed by PFGE. Campylobacter was detected in 25.1% of the 530 samples from sows, and 67% of the 53 pig farms had at least one positive sample (of 10 taken). All the Campylobacter isolates belonged to the Campylobacter coli species. They displayed a very high level of genetic diversity, also inside farms and few genotypes were common to several farms. Warmer months, large farms, and individual housing for sows were identified as risk indicators of Campylobacter shedding by sows. A short delay between sampling and treatment of the samples should be considered, to improve the detection of the bacterium in the feces samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Shedding
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques
  • Campylobacter / classification
  • Campylobacter / genetics*
  • Campylobacter / isolation & purification
  • Campylobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Campylobacter Infections / veterinary*
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons
  • Swine / microbiology*
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology
  • Swine Diseases / microbiology*