Salmonella contamination in a network of 10 pig farms interconnected within the same cooperative

27 Sep 2019

Henry, A., Letellier, A., Cote, J.-C., Desmarais, G., Lachapelle, V., Bergeron, N., Lewandowsky, S., Fravalo, P.

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To evaluate whether pig farms interconnected within the same cooperative share similar Salmonella contamination patterns.


Ten finishing pig farms within a 100 km radius of a common slaughterhouse were selected. Their inclusion was based on their association to the same cooperative and the sharing of common resources: piglets, feed, swine transporters, slaughterhouse, technicians and veterinarians.


Each farm was visited three times over a 10-month period. Pig faeces, the barn front door handle, the feed pipeline, mobile objects (shovel, balance and pig board), the landing stage, the concrete slab of the feed bins, the tire tracks left on the pathways by the animal feed truck, the pig delivery truck and the carcase knacker truck and the mudguards and cabin carpets of the veterinarian and technician vehicles on their arrival at the farm were all analysed for the presence of Salmonella.


All farms were not equally contaminated with Salmonella. Whereas some farms yielded up to 12 Salmonella isolates, other farms were Salmonella free. Some locations, most notably the landing stage, were more contaminated than others. Salmonella contamination was dynamic in time. Some contaminations seen on farms, on specific locations on the first visit, had disappeared on the second and third visits, but new contaminations were detected on different locations.


Contamination with Salmonella was not disseminated through the network of the 10 pig farms interconnected within the same cooperative but was rather most often restricted in time to specific locations on specific farms.