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Objective

To enumerate the prevalence of Campylobacter isolates in the intestinal tract of market-weight swine raised in an integrated swine operation in Texas.

Sample Population

Samples of cecal contents were collected from 595 pigs (mean body weight, 110 kg [242 lb]) at time of slaughter. Pigs were offspring of Yorkshire-Landrace sows and Duroc or Hampshire boars. Pigs originated from 4 farrow-to-finish farms.

Procedure

During a 9-month period, visits were made to a slaughter plant to remove cecal contents from market-weight hogs. Samples were obtained from 50 pigs/visit from designated farms so that samples were obtained 3 times from pigs of each of 4 farms. Isolation of Campylobacter spp was accomplished by use of enrichment broth and restrictive media, using microaerophilic conditions.

Results

Campylobacter spp were isolated from 70 to 100% of the pigs, depending on the farm and the date the samples were collected. Campylobacter coli was isolated from 20 to 100% (mean, 60%) of samples, and C jejuni was isolated from 0 to 76% (mean, 31%) of samples. Campylobacter lari was isolated from 2 pigs. Concentrations of C coli or C jejuni ranged from 103 to 107 colony-forming units/g of cecal content.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Campylobacter coli generally is accepted as a common inhabitant of the intestinal tract of swine. However, analysis of results of this study suggests that a relatively high prevalence of C jejuni may be found in pigs raised on specific farms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;215:1601–1604)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association