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Effects of pre-farrowing sow vaccination against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae on offspring colonisation and lung lesions
  1. Ioannis Arsenakis1,
  2. Annelies Michiels1,
  3. Gabriele Schagemann2,
  4. Charles Oliver Gomez-Duran2,
  5. Filip Boyen3,
  6. Freddy Haesebrouck3 and
  7. Dominiek G D Maes1
  1. 1Unit Porcine Health Management, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics & Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  2. 2Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health GmbH, Ingelheim, Germany
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  1. E-mail for correspondence; Ioannis.Arsenakis{at}


This study investigated Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae colonisation and lung lesions at slaughter in pigs from vaccinated (V) and non-vaccinated (NV) sows, in two herds (A and B). In each herd, two sow batches were V against M. hyopneumoniae with a commercial bacterin at six and three weeks before farrowing and two sow batches remained NV. From each sow batch, laryngeal swabs were collected from the litters of five primiparous sows at weaning and seven days post-weaning. All samples were tested for M. hyopneumoniae by nested PCR. In total, 488 piglets were sampled. At slaughter, the extent of Mycoplasma-like pneumonia lesions (lung lesion score (LLS)) was assessed. The colonisation rates with M. hyopneumoniae at weaning and seven days post-weaning were (V-A=14.2, NV-A=20.0 (P=0.225); V-B=0.9, NV-B=0.8 (P=0.948)) and (V-A=0.8, NV-A=7.0 (P=0.039); V-B=1.8, NV-B=2.5 (P=0.738)), respectively. The average LLS (in per cent) was V-A=15.5, NV-A=26.4 (P=0.021); V-B=9.7, NV-B=8.4 (P=0.541). In conclusion, in herd A, with a substantially higher level of piglet colonisation at weaning than herd B, offspring from V sows had a significantly lower colonisation rate seven days post-weaning and a significantly lower LLS at slaughter compared with the offspring of the NV sows. This implies that sow vaccination might be useful for control of M. hyopneumoniae infections, although significant results may not be achieved at all times (such as in herd B).

  • Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae
  • sow vaccination
  • pig colonization
  • lung lesions

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  • Funding The study was financed by Boehringer Ingelheim but was conducted solely by the Unit Porcine Health Management at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Ghent University.

  • Competing interests GS and COG-D are employed by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and were not involved in the collection, analysis and interpretation of the data.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the ethical committee for animal experiments of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University (EC2014/156).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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