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Torhout, Belgium

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. Source

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. Source

Verhelst D.,Ghent University | De Craeye S.,Scientific Institute of Public Health | Vanrobaeys M.,Animal Health Care Flanders | Dorny P.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | And 2 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. Source

de Jong A.,Bayer Animal Health GmbH | Smet A.,Ghent University | Ludwig C.,Bayer Animal Health GmbH | Stephan B.,Bayer Animal Health GmbH | 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. Source

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. Source

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