Home Crop Monitoring Erysipelas in pigs: Causes, Signs and Methods of Treatment

Erysipelas in pigs: Causes, Signs and Methods of Treatment


Erysipelas in pigs (Swine Erysipelas) is an infectious illness brought on by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae seen primarily in rising pigs (all pigs over the age of 12 weeks) and characterised clinically by sudden dying, fever, pores and skin lesions and arthritis.

Erysipelas in pigs (Swine Erysipelas) will also be outlined an infectious illness largely of rising or grownup swine. It could be clinically inapparent, might trigger acute sickness involving many animals, or be a persistent illness characterised by enlarged joints, lameness, and endocarditis. Rhomboid pores and skin (diamond-skin) lesions are an inconsistent characteristic solely related to acute circumstances.

As much as 50% of pigs in intensive swine manufacturing areas are thought of to be colonized with E rhusiopathiae. The organism generally resides in the tonsillar tissue. This fever can induce abortion in pregnant gilts and sows.

These typical wholesome carriers can shed the organism in their feces or oronasal secretions and are an essential supply of an infection for different pigs. An infection is by ingestion of contaminated feed, water, or feces and by means of pores and skin abrasions. When ingested, the organism can survive passage by means of the hostile surroundings of the abdomen and intestines and might stay viable in the feces for a number of months.

On farms the place the organism is endemic, pigs are uncovered naturally to E rhusiopathiae when they’re younger. Maternal-derived antibodies present passive immunity and suppress medical illness.

Older pigs are likely to develop protecting lively immunity in consequence of publicity to the organism, which doesn’t essentially result in medical illness. Recovered pigs and chronically contaminated pigs might turn into carriers of E rhusiopathiae. Wholesome swine additionally could also be asymptomatic carriers.

Though pig farming enterprise is one of the profitable facets of animal husbandry or manufacturing in agriculture (agricultural enterprise also known as AgriBusiness), sure components like illnesses and others generally hinders the optimum efficiency of the pigs there by resulting in loss to the pig farmer.

Concerning Erysipelas in pigs (Swine Erysipelas), stress components comparable to overstocking, mixing pigs after weaning and sudden modifications in temperature can set off medical erysipelas.

Environmental contamination is widespread as a result of micro organism are excreted through saliva, nasal secretions, faeces, and urine. The micro organism can survive for weeks exterior the pigs.

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Causes of Erysipelas in pigs (Swine Erysipelas)

  • Moist soiled pens, notably if they’re closely contaminated with faeces that comprise excessive numbers of organisms.
  • Moist feeding methods, notably if milk by-products are used, can turn into main sources for multiplication of the organism.
  • Frequently populated homes with no all-in and all-out procedures and disinfection.
  • Water methods which have turn into contaminated with the organism.
  • Feed-back of faeces.
  • The motion of pigs involving mixing and stress, notably when maternal antibody from the sow is disappearing.
  • Sudden modifications in temperature and heat summer time climate.
  • Throughout heat summer time climate when pigs foul their pens.
  • Sudden modifications in weight loss program.
  • Widespread in straw based mostly methods.
  • Diets that comprise fungal toxins (mycotoxins) notably aflatoxin.
  • Heavy parasite burdens or low ranges of coccidia that permit the micro organism to enter by means of the broken wall of the gut.
  • The acquisition of non-vaccinated boars or gilts.
  • Virus infections notably PRRS and SI.

Medical Signs of Erysipelas in pigs (Swine Erysipelas)

Swine Erysipelas: Causes, Signs and Methods of Treatment

Doable medical manifestations are cutaneous erythema, together with attribute diamond-shaped lesions, septicemia, arthritis, and endocarditis. Erysipelas is a standard trigger of carcass condemnation at abattoirs.

Analysis is by bacterial tradition from contemporary tissues, fluid, or blood or by molecular testing (ie, demonstration and identification of E rhusiopathiae).

In keeping with analysis, the onset is sudden. Often the illness is confined to 2 or three animals in anyone outbreak though in the non-vaccinated herd 5 to 10 % of animals may very well be affected anyone time. Will be so delicate that it goes unnoticed.


  • Usually the one signal is dying resulting from an acute septicaemia or coronary heart failure.
  • Restricted blood provide causes small raised areas known as diamonds in the pores and skin. These are clearly outlined turn into crimson and lastly black, resulting from lifeless tissue however no abscesses. Most heal in 7–10 days.
  • Excessive temperatures 40°C (108°F; fever).
  • Clearly in poor health (though some can seem regular).
  • Usually these lumps could be palpated in the early levels earlier than something could be seen.
  • Stiffness or reluctance to rise indicating joint an infection – arthritis.
  • Inappetence.
  • Infertility.
  • Pores and skin ulceration.
  • The organism both impacts:
    • The joints producing lameness.
    • The guts valves producing growths.


  • Boars contaminated with erysipelas develop excessive temperatures and sperm could be affected for the whole improvement interval of 5 to 6 weeks. Infertility is demonstrated by returns, sows not in pig and poor litter sizes.

The essential results of Erysipelas in pigs (swine erysipelas) on reproductive failure

  • Sick animals with excessive fevers.
  • Abortions throughout acute or sub-acute illness with in poor health sows and lifeless piglets.
  • The dying of piglets contained in the womb and mummification.
  • Abortions with decomposing piglets.
  • Absorption of embryos and delayed returns.
  • Regular returns if an infection happens instantly post-service.
  • Variable litter measurement.

Weaners and growers

Generally the illness is much less acute and delicate.

  • Sudden dying.
  • Acutely in poor health pigs working excessive temperatures.
  • Attribute pores and skin lesions may be evident as giant 10 to 50mm raised diamond formed areas over the physique which will flip from crimson to black. They might be simpler to really feel than to see in the early levels and usually resolve over 7 to 10 days.
  • Pores and skin lesions might seem however the pigs might not look like in poor health in spite of a excessive temperature 42°C (107°F).
  • The organism might settle in the joints inflicting persistent arthritis and swellings which could be liable for condemnations at slaughter.
  • Lameness.

Moreover, persistent (long run) modifications can happen in pigs challenged with Erysipelas and current in 3 varieties:

1) Endocarditis – the event of ‘cauliflower’ like lesions on coronary heart valves that results in dying (usually sudden) resulting from coronary heart failure. Surviving pigs are prone to be condemned at slaughter. Different micro organism could cause such lesions (eg Strep suis).

2) Arthritis – a sophisticated type of the illness which could be very troublesome to manage. The difficulties come up as a result of, in most circumstances, it isn’t the direct outcome of an infection in joints with the organism. Erysipelas arthritis is what’s termed as immune mediated or hypersensitivity response.

Essentially the most vital issue clinically is that as a result of the arthritis outcomes from an immune medicated situation, it isn’t essentially the case that the acute type of the illness might be seen previous to it. Furthermore, it will possibly happen in partially immune animals (i.e. pigs which are already sensitized to the organism) and, thus, may even happen following prior vaccination.

3) Pores and skin necrosis – growing in an analogous technique to the arthritic type in which ischaemic harm to the pores and skin happens, resulting in dying of the tissues and sloughing of the pores and skin. It could actually result in loss of extremities, particularly the ears but in addition scrotum and another areas

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Analysis / Treatment of Erysipelas in pigs (Swine Erysipelas)

E rhusiopathiae is inclined to beta-lactam antibiotics, and penicillin is essentially the most generally really useful remedy. Vaccines are usually efficient in stopping acute illness.

That is decided by the medical image, with key options of:

  • Inappetence.
  • Very excessive temperature.
  • Diamond formed pores and skin swellings – If the diamond markings should not apparent to the attention they are often felt if the hand is run over the pores and skin of the again or behind the again legs and over the flanks.

Put up-mortem and isolation of the organism will point out illness, which is simple to develop in the laboratory. Serology will point out publicity to the organism however it will possibly solely be used to substantiate illness if rising titres, 14 days aside, are demonstrated.

The interpretation of titre ranges (hemagglutination inhibition check):

  • 1:4–1:64 resulting from vaccination.
  • 1:32–1:320 suggests maternal antibody or publicity to the organism.
  • 1:640 suggests earlier an infection.
  • An increase in a titre stage from 1:320 to 1:1280 would counsel lively an infection. Erysipelas might turn into an issue in herds the place PRRS is endemic.

The bacterium alone could cause the illness however concurrent virus infections, comparable to PRRS or influenza, might set off giant outbreaks and this needs to be borne in thoughts in making a prognosis.

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