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Treatment of clinical Brachyspira hyodysenteriae with zinc chelate in pigs: a blinded, randomised controlled trial
  1. Gerwen Lammers1,
  2. Robbert van Berkel1,
  3. Daisy Roijackers1,
  4. Carly Vulders1,
  5. Henriëtte Brouwer-Middelesch2 and
  6. Jobke van Hout2
  1. 1 Product Development & Regulatory Affairs, Intracare BV, Veghel, The Netherlands
  2. 2 GD Animal Health, Deventer, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerwen Lammers; glammers{at}


Background Brachyspira hyodysenteriae infection in pigs (‘swine dysentery’) leads to decreased feed conversion, growth losses and mortality. Current countermeasures have the downside of antibiotic resistance (antibiotics) and ecotoxicity (zinc oxide). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a novel zinc chelate (Intra Dysovinol (ID)) on clinical signs of swine dysentery and shedding of B hyodysenteriae under field conditions.

Methods In a randomised, double-blinded, controlled trial under Good Clinical Practice on two commercial farms, 58 B hyodysenteriae positive pigs from 16 pens received drinking water containing ID, or placebo, during six consecutive days. Faecal quality (consistency, colour, additions) was scored and faeces were analysed for presence of B hyodysenteriae by PCR. ID treatment positively affected faecal quality (consistency) and daily growth rates.

Results At the last treatment day, B hyodysenteriae was not detectable in the faeces of any of the ID-treated animals, while all placebo animals remained B hyodysenteriae positive by PCR. All ID-treated animals recovered, while 5 placebo-treated animals died and 12 placebo pigs required additional treatment before the end of the study (up to 14 days after treatment start).

Conclusion This non-antibiotic treatment stopped the clinical signs and shedding of B hyodysenteriae in naturally infected pigs.

  • Brachyspira hyodysenteriae
  • Swine dysentery
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vibrio
  • Non-antibiotic
  • Clinical trials
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests The field trial, collection of data and analysis was carried out by GD Animal Health (Contract Research Organisation), and was financially sponsored by Intracare BV. GL, RvB, DR and CV are employed by Intracare BV and report personal fees from Intracare BV during the conduct of the study.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was considered as an experimental animal study and hence approval from the Dutch Central Committee for Animal Experiments was requested and granted.

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

  • Data availability statement Data are available on request.

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