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Non-infectious factors associated with macroscopic and microscopic lung lesions in slaughter pigs from farrow-to-finish herds
  1. D. G. Maes, DVM, MSc,PhD1,
  2. H. Deluyker, DVM, PhD1,
  3. M. Verdonck, DVM1,
  4. A. de Kruif, DVM, PhD1,
  5. R. Ducatelle, DVM, PhD2,
  6. F. Castryck, DVM3,
  7. C. Miry, DVM3 and
  8. B. Vrijens, MSc4
  1. 1 Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health
  2. 2 Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, University of Ghent, Belgium
  3. 3 Regional Veterinary Investigation Centre, Industrielaan 15, 8820 Torhout, Belgium
  4. 4 Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Sciences, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Ghent, University of Ghent, Belgium


A cross-sectional epidemiological study was conducted in 150 randomly selected farrow-to-finish herds to investigate which non-infectious factors might act as risk indicators for the prevalence and severity of macroscopic and microscopic lung lesions in slaughter pigs. Data were collected during herd visits through inspections of the pigs and through interviews with the farmers. Macroscopic lung lesions of pneumonia and pleuritis were recorded at slaughter from 25 pigs per herd, and microscopic lung lesions of lymphohistiocytic infiltration were recorded from 10 pigs per herd. The median herd level prevalences were 24 per cent for pneumonia, 16 per cent for pleuritis and 60 per cent for lymphohistiocytic infiltration. Pneumonia lesions were negatively associated with pleuritis lesions and positively associated with lymphohistiocytic infiltration. Pleuritis lesions were negatively associated with lymphohistiocytic infiltration. The prevalence and the severity of pneumonia lesions were increased by a high frequency of purchasing gilts and by a slaughter date in January to February. The presence of a growing unit also increased the severity of pneumonia. The prevalence and the severity of pleuritis lesions were higher when there were more pig herds in the municipality, and when there were poor biosecurity measures, and their prevalence was increased by a slaughter date in January to February, and their severity by a slaughter date in March to April. An increase in the airspace stocking density in the finishing unit also increased the prevalence of pleuritis. The prevalence and the severity of lymphohistiocytic infiltration in the lung tissue were higher in herds purchasing gilts. Pigs raised in pens with slatted floors were also at higher risk of more severe lesions of lymphohistiocytic infiltration.

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