Listeriosis in pigs

This is a relatively rare disease but can be found worldwide. The article is written for information purposes.

Listeriosis is a systemic bacterial disease that can cause septicemia in piglets and reproductive problems in sows.

Causative organism is a bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

The bacterium is commonly found in the intestine of pigs.

Listeria bacteria are commonly found in water, soil, and faeces.
The organism usually contaminates silage.

Stress and heavy exposure to the organism causes infection. The organisms can still be passed out in the faeces of infected animal.

Clinical Signs

In piglets

Sudden death.
Nervous signs such as convulsions.
The head is tilted to one side.
Septicemia( presence of bacteria or their toxins in the blood stream)
Ear infections.

In Sows



Listeria is usually sensitive to penicillin, ampicillin.

Public Health Importance

Listeriosis is of public health importance .

Listeria can be a serious infection in pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

Pregnant women are 10 times more likely to be infected with Listeria than the general population. And can result to miscarriage and premature birth.

Listeria can also cause meningitis in man.

Listeriosis is a foodborne disease in man.

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