OBJECTIVE To evaluate colonization of Streptococcus suis and Streptococcus parasuis on pig farms in Japan and to identify sources of infections.
SAMPLE Saliva, feces, and vaginal swab samples from 84 healthy pigs of several growth stages on 4 farms and swab samples of feed troughs and water dispensers at those farms.
PROCEDURES Samples were collected from August 2015 to June 2016. Two quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays (one for S suis and the other for S parasuis) were designed for use in the study. The novel qPCR assays were used in combination with previously described qPCR assays for S suis serotype 2 or 1/2 and total bacteria. Relative abundance of bacteria in each sample was evaluated.
RESULTSStreptococcus suis was detected in all saliva samples and some of the other samples, whereas S parasuis was not detected in any of the samples, including saliva samples, which indicated a difference in colonization preference. The ratio of S suis to total bacteria in saliva appeared to increase with age of pigs. Streptococcus suis serotype 2 or 1/2 was detected in a few saliva samples and feed trough swab samples at 2 farms where S suis infections were prevalent.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Saliva, especially that of sows, appeared to be a reservoir and source of S suis infection for pigs. The qPCR assay described here may provide an effective way to monitor for S suis in live pigs, which could lead to effective disease control on pig farms.