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Keywords:

  • Salmonella enterica;
  • swine;
  • serovars;
  • phage types;
  • prevalence;
  • faecal culture

Summary

The present study is the first conducted in Spain to estimate the bacteriological herd prevalence of Salmonella enterica in fattening units and to describe the Salmonella serovar diversity on these farms using a sample representative of the entire swine population. For this purpose, 10 faecal samples were collected from 10 different pens containing pigs close to market weight in a total of 232 fattening units. Total sample size was proportionally distributed according to the fattener census in each of the regions of the country and all the samples were examined by culture of 25 g of faecal material. One hundred (43.1%) farms had at least one Salmonella-positive sample (95% CI: 37–49.1%). Salmonella enterica was detected in 290 (12.5%) pooled faecal floor samples (95% CI: 11.2–13.8%). The apparent herd prevalence of salmonellosis was similar among multi-site, finishing and farrow to finish farms. Overall, 24 different serovars were identified, with S. Typhimurium, S. Rissen and S. Derby being the most common both at herd and sample level. Results of phage typing were available for the 91 isolates of S. Typhimurium. A total number of 10 different phage types were identified, with DT 193 being the most frequent. Phage types DT 104, DT 104b and DT U302, which have been associated with several multi-resistant patterns, accounted for 23% and 29% of the Typhimurium total isolates or Typhimurium infected farms respectively.