Animal Health Care Flanders

Torhout, Belgium

Animal Health Care Flanders

Torhout, Belgium
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Boyen F.,Ghent University | Vangroenweghe F.,Animal Health Care Flanders | Butaye P.,Ghent University | Butaye P.,Biocontrol | And 5 more authors.
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2010

During the last few years, acquired resistance to colistin in Escherichia coli, but also in other bacterial species, has been reported. It has been shown that the disk diffusion test is not a reliable method for the detection of this resistance. Therefore, there is a need for a reliable and cheap test to determine colistin susceptibility of pathogenic E. coli strains. In the current research, the colistin susceptibility of E. coli isolated during the period 2005-2006 from pigs was determined. Results obtained with the Kirby Bauer disk diffusion test (Neosensitabs, Rosco), the disk prediffusion test (Neosensitabs, Rosco) and the E-test (AB Biodisk) were compared with the results of the reference agar dilution assay. The MIC values or inhibition zones showed a bimodal distribution for the results obtained by all test methods, except the disk diffusion assay, suggesting acquired resistance in 15 strains (9.6%). The E-test and disk prediffusion assay generated results within acceptable levels compared to the reference agar dilution assay. The categorical agreement with the results obtained by the agar dilution method were good to very good for all tests, except the disk diffusion assay. In conclusion, current results suggest that, in addition to the E-test, the disk prediffusion test is a reliable, alternative agar-based colistin susceptibility method for testing colistin susceptibility of E. coli isolates in diagnostic bacteriology. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


Mahu M.,Ghent University | Pasmans F.,Ghent University | Vranckx K.,Applied Maths NV | De Pauw N.,Ghent University | And 7 more authors.
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2017

Swine dysentery (SD) is an economically important disease for which antimicrobial treatment still occupies an important place to control outbreaks. However, acquired antimicrobial resistance is increasingly observed in Brachyspira hyodysenteriae. In this study, the Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of six antimicrobial compounds for 30 recent Belgian B. hyodysenteriae isolates were determined using a broth microdilution method. In addition, relevant regions of the 16S rRNA, 23S rRNA and the L3 protein encoding genes were sequenced to reveal mutations associated with acquired resistance. Finally, a phylogeny was reconstructed using minimal spanning tree analysis of multi locus sequence typing of the isolates. For lincomycin, doxycycline, tylosin and tylvalosin, at least 70% of the isolates did not belong to the wild-type population and were considered to have acquired resistance. For valnemulin and tiamulin, this was over 50%. In all isolates with acquired resistance to doxycycline, the G1058C mutation was present in their 16S rRNA gene. All isolates showing acquired resistance to lincomycin and both macrolides displayed the A2058T mutation in their 23S rRNA gene. Other mutations in this gene and the N148S mutation in the L3 protein were present in both wild-type isolates and isolates considered to have acquired resistance. Multi locus sequence analysis revealed a previously undescribed clonal complex, with 4 novel sequence types in which the majority of isolates showed acquired resistance to all tested antimicrobial products. In conclusion, acquired antimicrobial resistance is widespread among Belgian B. hyodysenteriae isolates. The emergence of multi-resistant clonal complexes can pose a threat to swine industry. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Meyns T.,Ghent University | Van Steelant J.,Animal Health Care Flanders | Rolly E.,Ghent University | Dewulf J.,Ghent University | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

A cross-sectional study was conducted to identify herd-level factors that may influence the prevalence and severity of macroscopically visible pulmonary lesions in pigs at slaughter. Data were collected following abattoir inspection of 50 randomly-selected batches of 6335 pigs and by interviewing the producers. Macroscopic lung lesions were identified and scored semi-quantitatively in ≥80 pigs/herd and the prevalence of pleuritis and pneumonia was 20.76% and 23.85%, respectively. Following multivariable analysis, the seroprevalence of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (P< 0.001) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (P= 0.018) and the number of pigs/nursery pen (P= 0.023) were positively associated, whereas average weaning age was negatively associated (P= 0.001) with the pleuritis score. Risk factors associated with a higher prevalence of pneumonia were the presence of pleuritis (P= 0.001) and the frequent purchasing of pigs (P=0.020). The findings of this study indicate that the prevalence of pleuritis and pneumonia remains high in Belgium and management factors are central to disease control. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.


Verhelst D.,Ghent University | De Craeye S.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | Vanrobaeys M.,Animal Health Care Flanders | Czaplicki G.,Animal Health Care Wallonia | And 3 more authors.
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2014

Even though infected sheep are a potential source of Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans, information is lacking concerning the seroprevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep in Belgium. We examined 3170 serum samples for anti Toxoplasma IgG in sheep by total lysate antigen (TLA) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). IgG to T. gondii was demonstrated in 87.4% of the tested sheep and in 96.2% of the 209 tested flocks. The seroprevalences in Antwerp (65.2%) and Wallonia (68.6%) are statistically lower than in the other regions in Belgium (96.7-97.8%) (P<. 0.05). The present study is the first report that analyzed the prevalence of T. gondii infection in sheep in Belgium and confirms the high prevalence of Toxoplasma-specific IgG antibodies in the sheep population. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Laanen M.,Ghent University | Persoons D.,Ghent University | Ribbens S.,Animal Health Care Flanders | de Jong E.,Animal Health Care Flanders | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2013

The biosecurity status of 95 breeder-finisher pig herds was quantified using a risk-based weighted scoring system. Data relating to herd-, farmer- and production-characteristics and to the prophylactic use of antimicrobials were also collected. The average external biosecurity score (measures to prevent pathogens from entering a herd) was 65 (range, 45-89) and the average internal score (measures to reduce the within-herd spread of pathogens) was 52 (range, 18-87).External scores were positively associated with herd size, while internal scores were negatively associated with both 'age of buildings' and 'years of experience of the farmer', indicating that biosecurity is generally better implemented in larger herds, in more modern facilities and by younger farmers. External and internal biosecurity scores were positively associated with daily weight gain and negatively associated with feed conversion ratio of fattening pigs. Internal scores were negatively associated with disease treatment incidence, suggesting that improved biosecurity might help in reducing the amount of antimicrobials used prophylactically. This study demonstrates and quantifies a clear link between biosecurity and both production- and antimicrobial treatment-related criteria in pig herds. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Antonissen G.,Ghent University | Martel A.,Ghent University | Pasmans F.,Ghent University | Ducatelle R.,Ghent University | And 6 more authors.
Toxins | Year: 2014

Contamination of food and feed with mycotoxins is a worldwide problem. At present, acute mycotoxicosis caused by high doses is rare in humans and animals. Ingestion of low to moderate amounts of Fusarium mycotoxins is common and generally does not result in obvious intoxication. However, these low amounts may impair intestinal health, immune function and/or pathogen fitness, resulting in altered host pathogen interactions and thus a different outcome of infection. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge about the impact of Fusarium mycotoxin exposure on human and animal host susceptibility to infectious diseases. On the one hand, exposure to deoxynivalenol and other Fusarium mycotoxins generally exacerbates infections with parasites, bacteria and viruses across a wide range of animal host species. Well-known examples include coccidiosis in poultry, salmonellosis in pigs and mice, colibacillosis in pigs, necrotic enteritis in poultry, enteric septicemia of catfish, swine respiratory disease, aspergillosis in poultry and rabbits, reovirus infection in mice and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus infection in pigs. However, on the other hand, T-2 toxin has been shown to markedly decrease the colonization capacity of Salmonella in the pig intestine. Although the impact of the exposure of humans to Fusarium toxins on infectious diseases is less well known, extrapolation from animal models suggests possible exacerbation of, for instance, colibacillosis and salmonellosis in humans, as well. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Michiels T.,Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center | Welby S.,Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Center | Vanrobaeys M.,Animal Health Care Flanders | Quinet C.,Association Regionale de Sante et dIdentification Animales | And 6 more authors.
Avian Pathology | Year: 2016

Mycoplasma gallisepticum is the most important pathogenic avian Mycoplasma species and causes chronic respiratory disease in poultry. In addition, the prevalence of Mycoplasma synoviae is of increasing concern in several EU member states. We investigated the prevalence of M. gallisepticum in commercial poultry (5220 layers, 1224 broilers and 1020 meat turkeys), 56 racing pigeons and 890 wild birds (Order Anseriformes, Galliformes, Pelecaniformes, Accipitriformes, Gruiformes, Charadriiformes, Columbiformes, Strigiformes, Falconiformes and Passeriformes). Broilers and wild birds were also evaluated for Mycoplasma synoviae. Dependent on the bird lifespan and the nature of the sample, different diagnostic tests were used including the rapid plate agglutination test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), polymerase chain reaction and real-time polymerase chain reaction. A low prevalence of M. gallisepticum was found in both layers (0.9%; 95% CI: 0.7–1.2%) and broilers (2.7%; 95% CI: 1.9–3.8%) possibly due to reduced vertical transmission by breeder farms, which are under official surveillance. None of the samples from turkeys or racing pigeons tested positive. In wild birds, we found five birds were positive (1.7%; 95% CI: 0.7–3.9%): one wood pigeon, two grey herons, one mallard and one Eurasian magpie. For M. synoviae a high prevalence was found in broilers (12.9%: 95% CI: 11.1–14.9%). Four samples collected by hunters gave a positive result for M. synoviae (4%: 95% CI: 1.6–9.8%): one carrion crow and three wood pigeons. In addition, 12 house sparrows were found to be positive (3%; 95% CI: 1.7–5.2%). Wild birds probably play a limited role as a reservoir but we cannot exclude a possible impact on transmission of Mycoplasmas. © 2016 Houghton Trust Ltd.


De Smet S.,Ghent University | De Zutter L.,Ghent University | Debruyne L.,Ghent University | Vangroenweghe F.,Animal Health Care Flanders | And 2 more authors.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2011

Healthy pigs are an important reservoir for the emerging human pathogen Arcobacter which can result in contamination of porcine carcasses and pork and the spread of arcobacters into the environment. Up to now, the excretion of arcobacters by pigs has been studied, but information about the transmission routes in fattening pigs is lacking. The present study aimed to elucidate the Arcobacter population dynamics in pigs during the fattening period on four farrow-to-finish farms. On each farm, 30 clinically healthy, 12-week-old piglets were selected. Fecal samples were collected on 10 sampling occasions until a slaughter age of 30 weeks was reached. Arcobacter spp. were isolated by a selective method and identified by multiplex PCR. The genetic diversity was examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR. The Arcobacter presence in the fecal samples on the four farms ranged from 11.3 to 50.0%, with excretion levels of up to 104 CFU/g feces. The ratio in which Arcobacter species were isolated varied between the farms and over time. Characterization revealed a high degree of genotypic diversity among the isolates. Arcobacter strains persisted and spread within the finishing unit during the fattening period. The occurrence of both unique and shared genotypes in pigs in adjacent and nonadjacent pens demonstrates that transmission routes other than fecal-oral transmission occur. © 2011, American Society for Microbiology.


De Busser E.V.,Ghent University | Dewulf J.,Ghent University | Zutter L.D.,Ghent University | Haesebrouck F.,Ghent University | And 4 more authors.
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2011

This study evaluated the effect of altering the pH of drinking water on the excretion of Escherichia coli (haemolytic and total count) by nursery piglets under field conditions as well as their performance parameters and health. The pH of the normal drinking water (pH 8) was lowered by using a mixture of organic acids (lactic, formic, propionic and acetic acid) to obtain a final pH of 6, 5 or 4. Reducing the pH to 4 resulted in the excretion of less faecal E. coli compared to pigs given water of pH 8 (P< 0.05), but the fall in pH also significantly decreased water intake. The highest daily weight gain and lowest mortality rate were observed in the group receiving drinking water of pH 5 (P> 0.05). No significant differences in the clinical parameters measured were seen between groups. The results of this study suggest that lowering the pH of the drinking water in newly weaned pigs reduces the E. coli load. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


de Jong A.,Bayer AG | Smet A.,Ghent University | Ludwig C.,Bayer AG | Stephan B.,Bayer AG | And 3 more authors.
Veterinary Microbiology | Year: 2014

Using the agar dilution method, antimicrobial susceptibility to human-use antibiotics was determined among Belgian faecal Salmonella isolates from healthy pigs and broiler chickens. Both epidemiological cut-off values and clinical breakpoints were applied for interpretation of the results. Cephalosporin-resistant isolates were examined for the presence of genes encoding CTX-M, SHV, TEM and CMY β-lactamases. All isolates with decreased quinolone susceptibility were screened for plasmid-borne genes qnr, qepA and aac(6')-Ib-cr. In all, 368 Salmonella isolates were recovered from pigs and 452 from chickens. Clinical resistance to ciprofloxacin was absent in isolates of both host species, and was 1.9 and 13.1% to cefotaxime in pig and poultry isolates, respectively. Decreased susceptibility to cefotaxime amounted to 2.2 and 0.7%, whereas for ciprofloxacin this was 3.0 and 23.0% in pig and poultry isolates, respectively. Ciprofloxacin decreased susceptibility was limited to few serovars, mainly Paratyphi B. Multidrug resistance was markedly higher for pig isolates (39.7%) than for chicken isolates (17.3%). Sixty-six cefotaxime-resistant isolates, 59 from chickens and 7 from pigs, were phenotypically determined as ESBL/AmpC producers; predominantly Paratyphi B and Typhimurium serovars. BlaCTX-M (mostly blaCTXM-1, but also blaCTXM-2 and blaCTXM-9) and blaTEM-52 were the predominant ESBL genes. Only few isolates expressed SHV-12 or an AmpC enzyme (CMY-2). Isolates of four serovars carried qnr genes: Brandenburg and Llandof from pigs, both qnrS; Indiana and Paratyphi B from chickens with qnrB and qnrA. The latter isolate carried blaCTX-M-9 and was the only strain with a plasmid-borne quinolone resistance gene among the ESBL/AmpC producers. This Salmonella survey confirms that the ESBL/AmpC producers are particularly prevalent in chickens (12.8%), and much less in pigs (1.9%). A link between plasmid-borne quinolone resistance genes and ESBLs/AmpC was uncommon. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

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