New neonatal porcine diarrhoea: clinical outcome in an affected herd

A new neonatal porcine diarrhoea (NNPD) of uncertain origin has affected piglets globally during the last decade. The present study documented the clinical outcome of neonatal diarrhoeas in a herd affected by
NNPD.

The study was conducted in a piglet producing herd that had been affected by neonatal diarrhoeas of unknown origin since a year. The onset of these diarrhoeas had been sudden with a high morbidity in a farrowing batch and the herd had been affected by NNPD since then. No antibiotic was added to the food, but piglets affected by NNPD were individually medicated. The herd was a satellite herd to a sow pool where 72 sows farrowed every 8th week in an age segregated rearing system. The parity number of 31 sows that
farrowed within three days in a farrowing batch was recorded. The offspring to these sows were followed
thoroughly with respect to diarrhoea daily during the first week of life. Mortality and weight gain of the offspring were also monitored.

NNPD was recorded in all litters delivered by gilts, and the number of affected piglets ceased from then with no incidence at all in literrs from four parity sows. At the day of birth, diarrhoea was recorded in 17 out of
the 31 litters studied. There was no increased piglet mortality, but piglets in litters affected by NNPD were
lighter at weaning and at the age of 11 weeks.

NNPD did not increase piglet mortality, probably due to the instant medical treatment when diagnosed. Despite this, a reduced weight was recorded in litters affected by NNPD, which underline the significance of the disease.

All litters delivered by gilts were affected by NNPD, but the disease was only recorded in one of 8 litters delivered by four- or five-parity sows. Thus, the results indicate that sows develop immunity to the causative agent to NNPD with age, and that they transfer this immunity to their offspring via colostrum. However, as the incidence of NNPD increased in the offspring to elder sows, the colostral protection appears not to be ensured over time.

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