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  • Gindonis, Gindonis.; Taponen, S.; Myllyniemi, A.-L.; Pyörälä, S.; Nykäsenoja, S.; Salmenlinna, S.; Lindholm, L.; Rantala, M. (2013)
    Background: Methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) are increasingly being isolated in bovine mastitis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the occurrence of MRS in Finnish mastitis milk samples and characterize the MRS isolates using molecular methods. Results: Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) was a rare finding in bovine mastitis in Finland. Only two out of 135 (1.5%) S. aureus isolates were positive for mec genes. One of these carried mecA and was of spa type t172, SCCmec type IV and ST375, and the other harboured mecC, being spa type t3256, and ST130. MRSA ST375 is common among human MRSA isolates in Finland, but this is the first report in the country of bovine mecC MRSA. In coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) originating from bovine mastitis, methicillin resistance was more common. In the two CoNS collections studied, 5.2% (17/324) and 1.8% (2/110) of the isolates were mecA positive. Eighteen of these were methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis (MRSE), which were divided into 6 separate PFGE clusters. One pulsotype was detected in different parts of the country, indicating clonal spread. Most MRSE (13/18) were of SCCmec type IV, one was of type V and four were non-typeable. Comparison with a human staphylococcal database indicated that bovine MRSE strains were not closely related to human MRSE isolates. Conclusions: The occurrence of MRS, especially MRSA, in bovine mastitis in Finland was low. Most methicillinresistant bovine CoNS are MRSE, and we found evidence of a bovine MRSE strain that may spread clonally. This is the first report of a Finnish bovine isolate of MRSAmecC ST130. The study provides a baseline for further MRS monitoring.
  • Nevas, M.; Kalenius, S.; Lundén, J. (2013)
    Finnish food business operators' (FBOs) opinions of the food control inspections performed by local authorities were evaluated, using a questionnaire. The production types of FBOs included were slaughterhouses, meat, fish and milk plants, egg-packing plants and storage facilities dealing with foods of animal origin. Based on a total of 459 responses, we noted that the impacts of official controls were considered valuable for food safety, since 78.8% of the respondents saw that the actions taken based on inspections had enhanced the safety of the products. The results also highlighted the importance of inspectors being familiar with the production processes to increase the efficacy of food control. More frequent visits by official inspectors correlated positively with FBOs' conceptions of noncompliances being relevant for food safety. The FBOs saw local inspectors as the most important sources of new information concerning food safety legislation and 89.1% of the respondents confirmed that discussions with local inspectors had helped them understand the food safety risks within their processes. We also noted that the bigger the FBO, the more clearly they seem to perceive the risks associated with their processes (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient r = 0.127, P = 0.009).
  • Nokireki, T.; Laine, T.; London, L.; Ikonen, N.; Huovilainen, A. (2013)
    Background: Swine influenza is an infectious acute respiratory disease of pigs caused by influenza A virus. We investigated the time of entry of swine influenza into the Finnish pig population. We also describe the molecular detection of two types of influenza A (H1N1) viruses in porcine samples submitted in 2009 and 2010. This retrospective study was based on three categories of samples: blood samples collected for disease monitoring from pigs at major slaughterhouses from 2007 to 2009; blood samples from pigs in farms with a special health status taken in 2008 and 2009; and diagnostic blood samples from pigs in farms with clinical signs of respiratory disease in 2008 and 2009. The blood samples were tested for influenza A antibodies with an antibody ELISA. Positive samples were further analyzed for H1N1, H3N2, and H1N2 antibodies with a hemagglutination inhibition test. Diagnostic samples for virus detection were subjected to influenza A M-gene-specific real-time RT-PCR and to pandemic influenza A H1N1-specific real-time RT-PCR. Positive samples were further analyzed with RT-PCRs designed for this purpose, and the PCR products were sequenced and sequences analyzed phylogenetically. Results: In the blood samples from pigs in special health class farms producing replacement animals and in diagnostic blood samples, the first serologically positive samples originated from the period July–August 2008. In samples collected for disease monitoring, < 0.1%, 0% and 16% were positive for antibodies against influenza A H1N1 in the HI test in 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. Swine influenza A virus of avian-like H1N1 was first detected in diagnostic samples in February 2009. In 2009 and 2010, the avian-like H1N1 virus was detected on 12 and two farms, respectively. The pandemic H1N1 virus (A(H1N1) pdm09) was detected on one pig farm in 2009 and on two farms in 2010. Conclusions: Based on our study, swine influenza of avian-like H1N1 virus was introduced into the Finnish pig population in 2008 and A(H1N1)pdm09 virus in 2009. The source of avian-like H1N1 infection could not be determined. Cases of pandemic H1N1 in pigs coincided with the period when the A(H1N1)pdm09 virus was spread in humans in Finland.
  • Nokireki, T.; Huovilainen, A.; Lilley, T.; Kyheröinen, E.-M.; Ek-Kommonen, C.; Sihvonen, L.; Jakava-Viljanen, M. (2013)
    Background: In 1985, a bat researcher in Finland died of rabies encephalitis caused by European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2), but an epidemiological study in 1986 did not reveal EBLV-infected bats. In 2009, an EBLV-2-positive Daubenton’s bat was detected. The EBLV-2 isolate from the human case in 1985 and the isolate from the bat in 2009 were genetically closely related. In order to assess the prevalence of EBLVs in Finnish bat populations and to gain a better understanding of the public health risk that EBLV-infected bats pose, a targeted active surveillance project was initiated. Results: Altogether, 1156 bats of seven species were examined for lyssaviruses in Finland during a 28–year period (1985–2012), 898 in active surveillance and 258 in passive surveillance, with only one positive finding of EBLV-2 in a Daubenton’s bat in 2009. In 2010–2011, saliva samples from 774 bats of seven species were analyzed for EBLV viral RNA, and sera from 423 bats were analyzed for the presence of bat lyssavirus antibodies. Antibodies were detected in Daubenton’s bats in samples collected from two locations in 2010 and from one location in 2011. All seropositive locations are in close proximity to the place where the EBLV-2 positive Daubenton’s bat was found in 2009. In active surveillance, no EBLV viral RNA was detected. Conclusions: These data suggest that EBLV-2 may circulate in Finland, even though the seroprevalence is low. Our results indicate that passive surveillance of dead or sick bats is a relevant means examine the occurrence of lyssavirus infection, but the number of bats submitted for laboratory analysis should be higher in order to obtain reliable information on the lyssavirus situation in the country.
  • Suutari, Anniina; Hallikainen, Anja; Ruokojärvi, Päivi; Kiviranta, Hannu; Nieminen, Mauri; Laaksonen, Sauli (2012)
    Background: The aim of this study was to determine 17 Polychlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxin and Dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) and 12 Dioxin-like Polychlorinated Biphenyl (DL-PCB) concentrations in the tissues of Finnish terrestrial herbivore species, semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus L.), and wild moose (Alces alces), investigate transfer and accumulation of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs in milk of the lactating reindeer hinds, and explore contaminant concentrations in stillborn reindeer calves exposed via placental transfer to PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs. Methods: Reindeer and moose tissue sampling was focused in Finnish reindeer herding region. Reindeer milk samples were sampled in summer and autumn from reindeer hinds in experimental reindeer station in northern Finland. PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs were analyzed using HRGC/HRMS method. The results are reported here as WHOTEQ upper bound concentrations and congener-specific lower bound concentrations. Results: WHO-PCDD/F- and PCB-TEQs in reindeer muscle and liver were generally higher in the calves than in adults. Concentrations in moose calves were lower than in reindeer calves, while in adult reindeer and moose the levels were equal. General PCDD/F congeners in reindeer muscle and liver were 23478-PeCDF, 123678-HxCDD and OCDD. In reindeer milk, the highest PCDD/F detected was OCDD, and it was common also in the moose muscle samples. A strong contribution of non-ortho-PCBs to WHO-TEQ was detected in all studied samples. The most dominating non-ortho-DL-PCB congener was PCB-126 in reindeer muscle, liver and milk. In moose muscle samples PCB-77 was the most abundant congener. Species-, individual- and tissue-specific accumulation of PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs may be the result from varying extent and quality of exposure, and to some extent from different metabolic potential. Conclusions: PCDD/Fs showed partly similar profiles in reindeer and moose muscle, reindeer liver and milk samples - indicating equal mode of bioaccumulation. A strong contribution of non-ortho-PCBs to WHO-TEQ was detected, although there were some differences in frequency of particular congeners in these species. Due to the harmonized sampling method the study offers the way to determine and compare the levels of PCDD/Fs and DLPCBs in reindeer and moose tissues and examine the transfer and dynamics of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds in northern terrestrial food web.
  • Bagcigil, F.; Taponen, S.; Koort, J.; Bengtsson, B.; Myllyniemi, A.-L.; Pyörälä, S. (2012)
    Background: The blaZ gene encoding penicillin resistance can be located either chromosomally or on plasmids. The aim of this study was to investigate the genetic relationships and to determine the location of the blaZ gene in S. aureus isolated in bovine mastitis in Finland and Sweden. Methods: Seventy-eight β-lactamase positive S. aureus isolates from bovine mastitis (34 from Finland and 44 from Sweden) were included in the study. The localization of blaZ gene was determined by Southern blotting. The blaZ genes of the isolates were sequenced and the sequences were translated to beta-lactamase proteins and further grouped as different protein signatures. The isolates and, as control, 33 Swedish and 36 Finnish beta-lactamase negative isolates were typed with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Results: In 26 out of 34 Finnish isolates (76.5%) and in 25 out of 44 Swedish isolates (56.8%) the blaZ gene was localized on a plasmid. Six different protein signatures were found. One signature was found only in four Swedish isolates, but all other signatures were found both in Finnish and Swedish isolates. The PFGE results revealed a diversity of S. aureus clones. The protein signatures were not clearly associated with certain pulsotypes. Conclusions: The plasmid location of the blaZ gene was not statistically significantly more common in Finland than in Sweden, and hence does not explain the higher proportion of penicillin-resistant isolates of S. aureus causing bovine mastitis in Finland compared to Sweden.
  • Siekkinen, Kirsi-Maarit; Heikkilä, Jaakko; Tammiranta, Niina; Rosengren, Heidi (2012)
    Background: Farm-level biosecurity provides the foundation for biosecurity along the entire production chain. Many risk management practices are constantly in place, regardless of whether there is a disease outbreak or not. Nonetheless, the farm-level costs of preventive biosecurity have rarely been assessed. We examined the costs incurred by preventive biosecurity for Finnish poultry farms. Methods: We used a semi-structured phone interview and obtained results from 17 broiler producers and from 5 hatching egg producers, corresponding to about 10% of all producers in Finland. Results: Our results indicate that the average cost of biosecurity is some 3.55 eurocent per bird for broiler producers (0.10 eurocent per bird per rearing day) and 75.7 eurocent per bird for hatching egg producers (0.27 eurocent per bird per rearing day). For a batch of 75,000 broilers, the total cost would be €2,700. The total costs per bird are dependent on the annual number of birds: the higher the number of birds, the lower the cost per bird. This impact is primarily due to decreasing labour costs rather than direct monetary costs. Larger farms seem to utilise less labour per bird for biosecurity actions. There are also differences relating to the processor with which the producer is associated, as well as to the gender of the producer, with female producers investing more in biosecurity. Bird density was found to be positively related to the labour costs of biosecurity. This suggests that when the bird density is higher, greater labour resources need to be invested in their health and welfare and hence disease prevention. The use of coccidiostats as a preventive measure to control coccidiosis was found to have the largest cost variance between the producers, contributing to the direct costs. Conclusions: The redesign of cost-sharing in animal diseases is currently ongoing in the European Union. Before we can assert how the risk should be shared or resort to the ‘polluter pays’ principle, we need to understand how the costs are currently distributed. The ongoing study contributes towards understanding these issues. The next challenge is to link the costs of preventive biosecurity to the benefits thus acquired.
  • Lyhs, Ulrike; Ikonen, Ilona; Pohjanvirta, Tarja; Raninen, Kaisa; Perko-Mäkelä, Päivikki; Pelkonen, Sinikka (2012)
    Background: Extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria (ExPEC) exist as commensals in the human intestines and can infect extraintestinal sites and cause septicemia. The transfer of ExPEC from poultry to humans and the role of poultry meat as a source of ExPEC in human disease have been discussed previously. The aim of the present study was to provide insight into the properties of ExPEC in poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market with special attention to their prevalence, virulence and phylogenetic profiles. Furthermore, the isolates were screened for possible ESBL producers and their resistance to nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin was tested. Methods: The presence of ExPEC in 219 marinated and non-marinated raw poultry meat products from retail shops has been analyzed. One E. coli strain per product was analyzed further for phylogenetic groups and possession of ten virulence genes associated with ExPEC bacteria (kpsMT K1, ibeA, astA, iss, irp2, papC, iucD, tsh, vat and cva/cv) using PCR methods. The E. coli strains were also screened phenotypically for the production of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and the susceptibility of 48 potential ExPEC isolates for nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin was tested. Results: E. coli was isolated from 207 (94.5%) of 219 poultry meat products. The most common phylogenetic groups were D (50.7%), A (37.7%), and B2 (7.7%). Based on virulence factor gene PCR, 23.2% of the strains were classified as ExPEC. Two ExPEC strains (1%) belonged to [O1] B2 svg+ (specific for virulent subgroup) group, which has been implicated in multiple forms of ExPEC disease. None of the ExPEC strains was resistant to ciprofloxacin or cephalosporins. One isolate (2.1%) showed resistance to nalidixic acid. Conclusions: Potential ExPEC bacteria were found in 22% of marinated and non-marinated poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market and 0.9% were contaminated with E. coli [O1] B2 svg+ group. Marinades did not have an effect on the survival of ExPEC as strains from marinated and non-marinated meat products were equally often classified as ExPEC. Poultry meat products on the Finnish retail market may have zoonotic potential.
  • Ariel, Ellen; Holopainen, Riikka; Olesen, Niels Jörgen; Tapiovaara, Hannele (Springer, 2010)
    Two iridovirus isolates recovered from cod (Gadus morhua) and turbot (Psetta maxima) in Denmark were examined in parallel with a panel of other ranaviruses including frog virus 3 (FV3), the reference strain for the genus Ranavirus. The isolates were assessed according to their reactivity in immunofluoresent antibody tests (IFAT) using both homologous and heterologous antisera and their amplification in PCR using primers targeting five genomic regions. The corresponding PCR fragments were sequenced, and the sequences obtained were used in phylogenetic analysis. In addition, the pathogenicity to rainbow trout under experimental challenge conditions was investigated. The viruses were serologically and genetically closely related to highly pathogenic ranaviruses such as European catfish iridovirus (ECV), European sheatfish iridovirus (ESV) and epizootic haematopoietic necrosis virus (EHNV). The challenge trials indicate that rainbow trout fry cultured at 15 C are not target species for the virus isolates in the present panel. We suggest that the two isolates belong in the genus Ranavirus and propose the name Ranavirus maxima (Rmax) for the turbot isolate.
  • Fediaevsky, Alexandre; Maurella, Cristiana; Nöremark, Maria; Ingravalle, Francesco; Thorgeirsdottir, Stefania; Orge, Leonor; Poizat, Renaud; Hautaniemi, Maria; Liam, Barry; Calavas, Didier; Ru, Giuseppe; Hopp, Petter (BioMedcentral, 2010)
    Background: During the last decade, active surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in small ruminants has been intensive in Europe. In many countries this has led to the detection of cases of atypical scrapie which, unlike classical scrapie, might not be contagious. EU legislation requires, that following detection of a scrapie case, control measures including further testing take place in affected flocks, including the culling of genotype susceptible to classical scrapie. This might result in the detection of additional cases. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of additional cases in flocks affected by atypical scrapie using surveillance data collected in Europe in order to ascertain whether atypical scrapie, is contagious. Results: Questionnaires were used to collect, at national level, the results of active surveillance and testing associated with flock outbreaks in 12 European countries. The mean prevalence of atypical scrapie was 5.5 (5.0-6.0) cases per ten thousand in abattoir surveillance and 8.1 (7.3-9.0) cases per ten thousand in fallen stock. By using meta-analysis, on 11 out of the 12 countries, we found that the probability of detecting additional cases of atypical scrapie in positive flocks was similar to the probability observed in animals slaughtered for human consumption (odds ratio, OR = 1.07, CI95%: 0.70-1.63) or among fallen stock (OR = 0.78, CI95%: 0.51-1.2). In contrast, when comparing the two scrapie types, the probability of detecting additional cases in classical scrapie positive flocks was significantly higher than the probability of detecting additional cases in atypical scrapie positive flocks (OR = 32.4, CI95%: 20.7-50.7). Conclusions: These results suggest that atypical scrapie is not contagious or has a very low transmissibility under natural conditions compared with classical scrapie. Furthermore this study stressed the importance of standardised data collection to make good use of the analyses undertaken by European countries in their efforts to control atypical and classical scrapie.
  • Kynkäänniemi, Sanna-Mari; Kortet, Raine; Härkönen, Laura; Kaitala, Arja; Paakkonen, Tommi; Mustonen, Anne-Mari; Nieminen, Petteri; Härkönen, Sauli; Ylönen, Hannu; Laaksonen, Sauli (Finnish Zoological and Botanical Publishing Board, 2010)
    Range expansion of ectoparasites can cause parasites to attack new host species. In these cases it is important for the parasite to be able to adapt to the new environment and to reproduce on the host. For the host, it is crucial to hinder successfully the development of long-lasting parasitic relationship. The deer ked ( Lipoptena cervi) is a novel ectoparasite for northern cervids. We investigated of the deer ked can use the reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) as a host and, if it can, wether antiparsitic treatment against this parasite would be available. Three groups of reindeer were monitored: two groups of 6 reindeerr were infected with 300 flies per each individual; a control group comprised 6 animals. One of the infected groups was treated with subcutaneous ivermectin. At the end of the experiment the infextation rate of the infected animals was low. The reindeer in the non-treated group had both live and dead deer keds and also a single pupa while the ivermectin-treated reindeer had only dead deer keds. As some deer keds survided and reproduced, thedeer ked can potentially use the reindeer as a host but antiparasitic treatment may be effective agains this parasite.
  • Sahlström, Leena; Rehbinder, Verena; Albihn, Ann; Aspan, Anna; Bengtsson, Björn (BioMed Central, 2009)
    Background: Antimicrobial resistance is a serious threat in veterinary medicine and human healthcare. Resistance genes can spread from animals, through the food-chain, and back to humans. Sewage sludge may act as the link back from humans to animals. The main aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) in treated sewage sludge, in a Swedish waste water treatment plant (WWTP), and to compare VRE isolates from sewage sludge with isolates from humans and chickens. Methods: During a four month long study, sewage sludge was collected weekly and cultured for VRE. The VRE isolates from sewage sludge were analysed and compared to each other and to human and chicken VRE isolates by biochemical typing (PhenePlate), PFGE and antibiograms. Results: Biochemical typing (PhenePlate-FS) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) revealed prevalence of specific VRE strains in sewage sludge for up to 16 weeks. No connection was found between the VRE strains isolated from sludge, chickens and humans, indicating that human VRE did not originate from Swedish chicken. Conclusion: This study demonstrated widespread occurrence of VRE in sewage sludge in the studied WWTP. This implies a risk of antimicrobial resistance being spread to new farms and to the society via the environment if the sewage sludge is used on arable land.
  • Perko-Mäkelä, Päivikki; Isohanni, Pauliina; Katzav, Marianne; Lund, Marianne; Hänninen, Marja-Liisa; Lyhs, Ulrike (BioMed Central, 2009)
    Background: Campylobacter is the most common cause of bacterial enteritis worldwide. Handling and eating of contaminated poultry meat has considered as one of the risk factors for human campylobacteriosis.Campylobacter contamination can occur at all stages of a poultry production cycle. The objective of this study was to determine the occurrence of Campylobacter during a complete turkey production cycle which lasts for 1,5 years of time. For detection of Campylobacter, a conventional culture method was compared with a PCR method. Campylobacter isolates from different types of samples have been identified to the species level by a multiplex PCR assay. Methods: Samples (N = 456) were regularly collected from one turkey parent flock, the hatchery, six different commercial turkey farms and from 11 different stages at the slaughterhouse. For the detection of Campylobacter, a conventional culture and a PCR method were used. Campylobacter isolates (n = 143) were identified to species level by a multiplex PCR assay. Results: No Campylobacter were detected in either the samples from the turkey parent flock or from hatchery samples using the culture method. PCR detected Campylobacter DNA in five faecal samples and one fluff and eggshell sample. Six flocks out of 12 commercial turkey flocks where found negative at the farm level but only two were negative at the slaughterhouse. Conclusion: During the brooding period Campylobacter might have contact with the birds without spreading of the contamination within the flock. Contamination of working surfaces and equipment during slaughter of a Campylobacter positive turkey flock can persist and lead to possible contamination of negative flocks even after the end of the day's cleaning and desinfection. Reduction of contamination at farm by a high level of biosecurity control and hygiene may be one of the most efficient ways to reduce the amount of contaminated poultry meat in Finland. Due to the low numbers of Campylobacter in the Finnish turkey production chain, enrichment PCR seems to be the optimal detection method here.
  • Laaksonen, Sauli; Solismaa, Milla; Kortet, Raine; Kuusela, Jussi; Oksanen, Antti (BioMed Central, 2009)
    Background: Recent studies have revealed expansion by an array of Filarioid nematodes' into the northern boreal region of Finland. The vector-borne nematode, Setaria tundra, caused a serious disease outbreak in the Finnish reindeer population in 2003–05. The main aim of this study was to understand the outbreak dynamics and the rapid expansion of S. tundra in the sub arctic. We describe the vectors of S. tundra, and its development in vectors, for the first time. Finally we discuss the results in the context of the host-parasite ecology of S. tundra in Finland Results: Development of S. tundra to the infective stage occurs in mosquitoes, (genera Aedes and Anopheles). We consider Aedes spp. the most important vectors. The prevalence of S. tundra naturally infected mosquitoes from Finland varied from 0.5 to 2.5%. The rate of development in mosquitoes was temperature-dependent. Infective larvae were present approximately 14 days after a blood meal in mosquitoes maintained at room temperature (mean 21 C), but did not develop in mosquitoes maintained outside for 22 days at a mean temperature of 14.1 C. The third-stage (infective) larvae were elongated (mean length 1411 m (SD 207), and width 28 m (SD 2)). The anterior end was blunt, and bore two liplike structures, the posterior end slight tapering with a prominent terminal papilla. Infective larvae were distributed anteriorly in the insect's body, the highest abundance being 70 larvae in one mosquito. A questionnaire survey revealed that the peak activity of Culicidae in the reindeer herding areas of Finland was from the middle of June to the end of July and that warm summer weather was associated with reindeer flocking behaviour on mosquito-rich wetlands. Conclusion: In the present work, S. tundra vectors and larval development were identified and described for the first time. Aedes spp. mosquitoes likely serve as the most important and competent vectors for S. tundra in Finland. Warm summers apparently promote transmission and genesis of disease outbreaks by favouring the development of S. tundra in its mosquito vectors, by improving the development and longevity of mosquitoes, and finally by forcing the reindeer to flock on mosquito rich wetlands. Thus we predict that global climate change has the potential to promote the further emergence of Filarioid nematodes and the disease caused by them in subarctic regions.
  • Nilssen, Arne C.; Isomursu, Marja; Oksanen, Antti (BioMed Central, 2008)
    About fifty larvae of Cephenemyia ulrichii Brauer (Diptera: Oestridae), some of them nearly fullgrown third instars, were found in the throat of a roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in June 2007 near Helsinki in Finland. The parasite is considered to be host specific, occurring only in the moose (Alces alces), and this paper is apparently the first report of a successful infestation in an aberrant host.
  • Laine, Taina M.; Lyytikäinen, Tapani; Yliaho, Maija; Anttila, Marjukka (BioMed Central, 2008)
    Background: Post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD) is a significant gastrointestinal disease in pigs. It is considered a multifactorial disease associated with proliferation of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli in the intestinal tract of affected pigs. The aim of this study was to analyse risk factors related to the occurrence of PWD on Finnish piglet producing farms. Methods: The data of a follow-up study of 73 conventional piglet producing farms was used in the case-control study. The selection of the 41 PWD case and 28 control farms was based on the use of antimicrobials for treating diarrhoea in weaned pigs and the answers related to the occurrence of diarrhoea after weaning in the questionnaire. Four intermediate farms were excluded from the statistical analysis. Altogether 39 factors related to herd characteristics, weaner pig management and pig health were studied. The median number of sows was 59.0 (IQR = 44.0; 74.5) and 52.5 (IQR = 36.8; 61.5) on the case and the control farms, respectively. The significances of the univariable associations between the explanatory variables and the outcome variable were tested, and in the multivariate analysis quasibinomial generalized linear models were applied. Results: An increased risk of PWD was associated with the regimen of twice a day feeding and feed restriction after weaning (P = 0.02; compared to feeding three or more meals a day or the use of ad libitum feeding) and with a higher number of sows on the farm (P = 0.02; risk increasing with increasing number of sows). Automatic temperature control was associated with a decreased risk of PWD (P = 0.03; compared to manual temperature control). Conclusion: Twice a day feeding of newly-weaned pigs should be avoided if the amount of feed given is restricted. Variation in ambient temperature should be minimized in housing of newlyweaned pigs and this can be achieved by using automatic temperature control. With increasing number of sows in the herds the risk of PWD increases and more attention should be paid to prevention of post-weaning diarrhoea.
  • Hendriksen, Rene S.; Mevius, Dik J.; Schroeter, Andreas; Teale, Christopher; Meunier, Danièle; Butaye, Patrick; Franco, Alessia; Utinane, Andra; Amado, Alice; Moreno, Miguel; Greko, Christina; Stärk, Katharina; Berghold, Christian; Myllyniemi, Anna-Liisa; Wasyl, Dariusz; Sunde, Marianne; Aarestrup, Frank M. (BioMed Central, 2008)
    Background: The project "Antibiotic resistance in bacteria of animal origin – II" (ARBAO-II) was funded by the European Union (FAIR5-QLK2-2002-01146) for the period 2003–2005, with the aim to establish a continuous monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility among veterinary laboratories in European countries based on validated and harmonised methodologies. Available summary data of the susceptibility testing of the bacterial pathogens from the different laboratories were collected. Method: Antimicrobial susceptibility data for several bovine pathogens were obtained over a three year period (2002–2004). Each year the participating laboratories were requested to fill in excelfile templates with national summary data on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance from different bacterial species. A proficiency test (EQAS – external quality assurance system) for antimicrobial susceptibility testing was conducted each year to test the accuracy of antimicrobial susceptibility testing in the participating laboratories. The data from this testing demonstrated that for the species included in the EQAS the results are comparable between countries. Results: Data from 25,241 isolates were collected from 13 European countries. For Staphylococcus aureus from bovine mastitis major differences were apparent in the occurrence of resistance between countries and between the different antimicrobial agents tested. The highest frequency of resistance was observed for penicillin. For Mannheimia haemolytica resistance to ampicillin, tetracycline and trimethoprim/sulphonamide were observed in France, the Netherlands and Portugal. All isolates of Pasteurella multocida isolated in Finland and most of those from Denmark, England (and Wales), Italy and Sweden were susceptible to the majority of the antimicrobials. Streptococcus dysgalactiae and Streptococcus uberis isolates from Sweden were fully susceptible. For the other countries some resistance was observed to tetracycline, gentamicin and erythromycin. More resistance and variation of the resistance levels between countries were observed for Escherichia coli compared to the other bacterial species investigated. Conclusion: In general, isolates from Denmark, England (and Wales), the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland showed low frequencies of resistance, whereas many isolates from Belgium, France, Italy, Latvia and Spain were resistant to most antimicrobials tested. In the future, data on the prevalence of resistance should be used to develop guidelines for appropriate antimicrobial use in veterinary medicine.
  • Hendriksen, Rene S.; Mevius, Dik J.; Schroeter, Andreas; Teale, Christopher; Jouy, Eric; Butaye, Patrick; Franco, Alessia; Utinane, Andra; Amado, Alice; Moreno, Miguel; Greko, Christina; Stärk, Katharina D.C.; Berghold, Christian; Myllyniemi, Anna-Liisa; Hoszowski, Andrzej; Sunde, Marianne; Aarestrup, Frank M. (BioMed Central, 2008)
    Background: The project "Antibiotic resistance in bacteria of animal origin – II" (ARBAO-II) was funded by the European Union (FAIR5-QLK2-2002-01146) for the period 2003–05. The aim of this project was to establish a program for the continuous monitoring of antimicrobial susceptibility of pathogenic and indicator bacteria from food animals using validated and harmonised methodologies. In this report the first data on the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance among bacteria causing infections in pigs are reported. Methods: Susceptibility data from 17,642 isolates of pathogens and indicator bacteria including Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Streptococcus suis and Escherichia coli isolated from pigs were collected from fifteen European countries in 2002–2004.Results: Data for A. pleuropneumoniae from infected pigs were submitted from five countries. Most of the isolates from Denmark were susceptible to all drugs tested with the exceptions of a low frequency of resistance to tetracycline and trimethoprim – sulphonamide. Data for S. suis were obtained from six countries. In general, a high level of resistance to tetracycline (48.0 – 92.0%) and erythromycin (29.1 – 75.0%) was observed in all countries whereas the level of resistance to ciprofloxacin and penicillin differed between the reporting countries. Isolates from England (and Wales), France and The Netherlands were all susceptible to penicillin. In contrast the proportion of strains resistant to ciprofloxacin ranged from 12.6 to 79.0% (2004) and to penicillin from 8.1 – 13.0% (2004) in Poland and Portugal. Data for E. coli from infected and healthy pigs were obtained from eleven countries. The data reveal a high level of resistance to tetracyclines, streptomycin and ampicillin among infected pigs whereas in healthy pigs the frequency of resistance was lower. Conclusion: Bacterial resistance to some antimicrobials was frequent with different levels of resistance being observed to several antimicrobial agents in different countries. The occurrence of resistance varied distinctly between isolates from healthy and diseased pigs, with the isolates from healthy pigs generally showing a lower level of resistance than those from diseased pigs. The study suggests that the choice of antimicrobials used for the treatment of diseased animals should preferably be based on knowledge of the local pattern of resistance.
  • Kangas, Susanna; Lyytikäinen, Tapani; Peltola, Jukka; Ranta, Jukka; Maijala, Riitta (BioMed Central, 2007)
  • Dillard, Kati J.; Saari, Seppo A.M.; Anttila, Marjukka (BioMed Central, 2007)
    Background: Intestinal threadworm Strongyloides stercoralis is a parasite of dog, cat and primates that occurs worldwide being most prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries. The adult parasitic worm is about 2 mm long and slender. It possesses both parasitic and free-living lifecycles. The parasitic worms are females. Strongyloides stercoralis infects the host via percutaneous, peroral or transmammary transmission in addition to autoinfection. Clinical disease varies from inapparent to severe enteritis and pneumonia. The diagnosis is based on demonstration of larvae in fresh faeces, which is best made by Baermann technique. Case presentation: Strongyloides stercoralis infection was diagnosed in autopsy in a 10-week-old puppy born and raised in a Finnish kennel. Prior to its sudden death, the puppy had suffered from gastrointestinal disturbance for three weeks. Subsequent sampling of the dogs in the kennel revealed that three adult dogs in the kennel were also infected. Conclusion: The present case shows that S. stercoralis can complete its life cycle and cause disease in dogs also in Northern Europe. Infection can be maintained also in a temperate climate and may become a chronic problem in a kennel environment. Infection may be underdiagnosed as Baermann technique is not routinely performed in small animal practice.