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Prophylaxis of pleuropneumonia in pigs by in-feed medication with oxytetracycline and the subsequent transmission of infection
  1. WA Hunneman,
  2. A Pijpers,
  3. J Lommerse,
  4. AP Crauwels and
  5. JH Verheijden
  1. Animal Health Service in the Southern Netherlands, Boxtel.


The prophylactic effect of in-feed medication with oxytetracycline was tested by using an Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae aerosol challenge model. Groups of 10 conventional pigs were provided with feed containing 400, 800, 1200 or 1600 mg oxytetracycline/kg and fed ad libitum. After six days of medication the pigs were challenged and clinical signs were recorded. Two groups of four unmedicated pigs served as controls and were euthanased 36 to 48 hours after challenge and dissected. The feed medication was continued for nine days after the challenge, and the different treatment groups were then moved to separate accommodation where they were mixed with seronegative tracer pigs. The steady state concentrations of oxytetracycline in the pigs' serum after six days medication with feed containing 400, 800, 1200 or 1600 mg oxytetracycline/kg ranged from 0.07 to 0.13, 0.21 to 0.46, 0.27 to 0.46 and 0.35 to 0.56 microgram/ml, respectively. One of the eight unmedicated control pigs died, and the other seven showed signs of pleuropneumonia post mortem. Medication with feed containing 400 mg and 800 mg oxytetracycline/kg failed to prevent pleuropneumonia in the challenged pigs, and the mortality rates in these groups were two out of 10 and one out of nine pigs, respectively. All the pigs given feed containing 1200 and 1600 mg oxytetracycline/kg survived and only two of the pigs in the first treatment group showed mild clinical signs. No clinical signs were observed in the tracer pigs which were mixed with the pigs medicated with 400, 800 or 1200 mg oxytetracycline/kg.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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