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Biosecurity and antimicrobial use in pig production

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Title: Biosecurity and antimicrobial use in pig production
Author(s): Sali, Virpi
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Degree program: Degree programme in veterinary medicine
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2020
Abstract:
Antimicrobial use (AMU) has led to a development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria that complicate treatment of infectious diseases in animals and humans. Majority of veterinary AMU occurs in pigs, which is known to contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Especially in large pork producing countries, the majority of antimicrobials are administered as group treatments for pigs that enhances AMR development. Biosecurity means measures that prevent pathogen transmission to a herd (external biosecurity) and within a herd (internal biosecurity). Consequently, when there is a global demand to decrease AMU, biosecurity has been introduced as an alternative to that. In Finland, veterinary AMU is one of the lowest level in the EU and group treatments are not preferred. However, Finnish pig herds have been small-sized in general and disease situation has been relatively good thorough the country thus there has been no need to invest in biosecurity. Herd size is increasing and therefore farmers must adopt alternative methods to decrease the need to use antimicrobials. This study aimed to investigate current biosecurity status of Finnish pig herds and their AMU, and study associations between them. Study population consisted of ten farrow-to-finish herds whose biosecurity status was evaluated by using an international Biocheck.UGent scoring system. AMU of individual herds was collected from national Sikava register covering around 90 % of Finnish pig herds. It is therefore the best available source for AMU data and makes comparison between herds possible. Furthermore, detailed calculation of AMU at different production stages was done. The biosecurity scores of study herds varied considerably. Mean external biosecurity score was higher than internal biosecurity score (Mean ± SD; 69 ± 1.2 vs. 44 ± 5.3, P < 0.001) and better in large herds compared to small herds (LSmeans ± SE; 72 ± 1.3 vs. 66 ± 1.3, P < 0.05). AMU tended to increase with decreasing biosecurity according to the study hypothesis. AMU was highest in suckling piglets but there were no significant correlations between the total biosecurity scores and AMU at any age groups studied. Regardless of the small sample size of this study, current findings support other studies indicating the potential to improve biosecurity of Finnish herds in order to avoid increase in AMU.
Keyword(s): biosecurity antimicrobial use pig production


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