Swine dysentery is caused by a spirochete called Brachyspira that causes severe inflammation in the large intestine producing bloody and mucous diarrhea.
Swine dysentery is caused by a group of strongly beta hemolytic spirochete called Brachyspira (previously called Serpuline or Treponema) hyodysenteriae. These organisms causes severe inflammation in the large intestine producing bloody and mucous diarrhea.
The disease is frequent between 20 and 100 kg, but severe cases occur occasionally in sows and their piglets.
Brachyspira can survive outside the pig up to 120 days, but it doesn´t survive in 2 days in dry and hot environments. It can be transmitted by birds, flies, fomites and mice.
Dissemination inside the farm is slow. The number of pigs affected increases as the microorganism accumulates in the environment. Recovered pigs often suffer from the disease again, however antibodies (IgG and IgA) do not last long. Therefore, the relationship between antibodies level and protection is not good. Some sows might not show any symptom during several months and transmit the disease to their piglets.
The high cost of the disease is associated with mortality (low), morbidity (high), decrease in growth, increase in feed conversion ratio, and increase of the cost in feed medication.
The incubation period is 7 to 14 days, but it can be up to 60 days. Pigs can initially develop a subclinical carrier state, and afterwards show symptoms if they are under stressing situations or when the diet is changed.
First symptoms are:
As the disease progresses:
Causes / Contributing Factors