New neonatal porcine diarrhoea syndrome – effects

New Neonatal Porcine Diarrhoea Syndrome (NNPDS) is a newly defined syndrome, characterized by a treatment-refractory diarrhoea during the first days of life. The study describes clinical manifestations and necropsy findings in four herds suspected to suffer from NNPDS. Furthermore, the study evaluates the effect of NNPDS on average daily gain (ADG) and mortality.

A total of 874 piglets in 86 litters from four herds were studied. Presence of diarrhoea was evaluated on fecal samples obtained by individual rectal swabing for the first five days of life. Body-weights at birth and day ten of life were recorded. All piglets dying prior to day ten of life were necropsied. The effects of diarrhoea on ADG and mortality were evaluated using mixed models. Sow of origin was inserted as a random effect. Start day and duration of diarrhoea in individual pigs as well as high prevalence of diarrhoea in the litter of origin (≥ 50% of littermates diarrhoeic) were evaluated in the models. Other risk factors evaluated in the models were Herd of origin, Parity of sow, Birth weight, Gender and Skin abrasions.

Prevalence and severity of diarrhoea differed between herds. In the most affected herd 45% of piglets were diarrhoeic for > 1 day, whereas in the least affected herd only 11% of piglets were diarrhoeic for > 1 day. Within each of the herds, a total of 21%, 7%, 6% and 4% of piglets died. Enteritis, starvation and crushing were main diagnoses at necropsy (51%, 16% and 14% of deaths, respectively). A negative effect on ADG of 9 g (diarrhoea for one day) and 14 g (diarrhoea for > 1day) during the first ten days of life were estimated, while no effect on ADG was found in piglest diarrhoeic at the day of birth only. Piglets from litters with high prevalence of diarrhoea had a reduced ADG of 38 g. Birth weight was the only other risk factor with a significant effect on ADG (-9g pr 100g of reduced birth weight). No overall effect of diarrhoea on mortality was observed. Herd of origin, Birth weight (OR 1.7 by 100g reduction in birth weight) and Gender (OR 2.1 for males) all had significant effects.

The clinical manifestations associated with outbreaks of diarrhoea differed much in four herds suspected to suffer from NNPDS. Diarrhoea was estimated to negatively affect the ADG by 9-14 g depending on the duration of diarrhoea in the individual piglet. When the litter of origin was affected with high prevalence of diarrhoea, the ADG individual piglets were found to be affected by -38 g per day. No overall effect of diarrhoea on mortality was demonstrated.

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