A multicentre, controlled, randomised and blinded study was carried out in three French pig herds to assess the efficacy of doxycycline administered in the feed for the control of pneumonia. About 20 per cent of 363 pigs from the three fattening units were diseased at the start of the study. Pneumonic lesions were found on pigs examined postmortem and Pasteurella multocida was isolated from the lungs of pigs in all the herds. Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection was confirmed either by detection in pneumonic lungs or by seroconversion in pigs sampled three weeks apart. P multocida, Bordetella bronchiseptica and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae were isolated from 64 per cent, 50 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, of 148 nasal swabs. The following variables were significantly different between the treated and untreated groups (P≤0.001): the incidence of diseased pigs during the three weeks from the start of treatment (8.1 per cent in treated group v 35.4 per cent in control group), mean daily weight gain over the same period (934 g/day in the treated group v 834 g/day in the control group) and the cure rate of pigs which were diseased at the start of treatment (73.5 per cent in treated group v 35.3 per cent in control group). These data demonstrate that an average dose of 11 mg doxycycline/kg bodyweight per day in feed for eight days was effective in controlling pneumonia due to P multocida and M hyopneumoniae in these fattening pigs.
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