Articles | Volume 50, issue 3
10 Oct 2007
 | 10 Oct 2007

Campylobacter spp.: Risk factor analysis in fattening pig farms

T. Wehebrink, N. Kemper, E. Grosse Beilage, and J. Krieter

Abstract. There is a lack of information about the prevalence and origins of the important zoonotic pathogen Campylobacter spp. in the different stages of the pig production chain. The aim of this study was to gather further information about the sources of infection with Campylobacter spp. and their qualitative and quantitative importance in pig production. For statistical analysis, 1,040 results from the bacteriological examination for Campylobacter spp. were evaluated with questionnaires from four farrowing and twelve fattening units. The prevalence was determined via faeces and swab samples with regard to certain farm production parameters. Thereby 30.8% of the sows and 80.9% of their piglets were carriers of Campylobacter spp.. In the fattening unit, the prevalence at the beginning of the fattening period was 89.2% and at the end 64.7%. As a result of the small sample size in the farrowing unit it was not possible to perform a risk analysis which yielded significant conclusions. In the fattening stage, the following risk factors had a significant effect (p≤0.05) on Campylobacter spp. prevalence: sampling time, number of fattening places per herd, mixed farming, floor space design, feed origin, antibacterial and anthelmintic treatment. These results show that housing and management have a possible influence on the Campylobacter spp. prevalence and should be investigated further.