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Serological detection of Ascaris suum at fattening pig farms is linked with performance and management indices

AuthorsMartínez Pérez, José Manuel ; Vandekerckhove, E.; Vlaminck, J.; Geldhof, P.; Martínez Valladares, María
KeywordsAscaris suum
Management practices
Issue Date2017
CitationVeterinary Parasitology 248: 33- 38 (2017)
AbstractThe aim of the present study was to determine the association between the presence of Ascaris suum at fattening pig farms, using different serological methods and the percentage of affected livers at slaughter, with performance and management indices. In total, 21 fattening pig farms from the North of Spain were included in the study. Serum samples were collected from pigs at slaughter and analysed for the presence of anti-Ascaris antibodies. For this, two different ELISAs were used. The first was based on the antibody recognition of the A. suum haemoglobin (As-Hb) molecule whereas the second test used the total extract of A. suum lung stage L3. The serological results were subsequently correlated with the percentage of condemned livers at slaughter, management practices and technical performance parameters including average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR). According to the data from the slaughterhouse, 12 out of the 21 farms had livers condemned due to liver white spots. A total of 10 farms (48%) had an average optical density ratio (ODr) exceeding the test cutoff when the As-Hb ELISA was used. This number increased to 18 farms (81%) when using the As-Lung-L3 ELISA. The average ODr of the farms on both ELISAs correlated positively with the percentage of affected livers (P < 0.01). Only the average ODr values obtained with the As-Lung-L3 ELISA were positively correlated with the FCR (P < 0.01). No correlation was found between percentage of affected livers or serology and the ADG. In relation to management practices, farms with greater than or equal to 50% slatted flooring and that applied the ‘all-in/all-out’ flow system showed a lower percentage of liver condemnations (P < 0.01), lower average ODr results on the As-Lung-L3 ELISA (P < 0.05) and lower FCR (P < 0.01) compared with those with less than 50% slatted flooring. This study emphasizes that serology is a promising diagnostic tool for diagnosing ascariasis at fattening pig farms. It also supports earlier findings that the presence of A. suum can have a significant negative impact on farm productivity and that stable infrastructure or management practices can have a considerable impact on the control of this parasite.
Description6 páginas, 4 tablas.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2017.10.009
Appears in Collections:(IGM) Artículos
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