Shoulder ulcers and ear necrosis of pigs

Last changed: 05 November 2013

Shoulder ulcers and ear necrosis of pigs- the presence and importance of Treponema spp.

Shoulder ulcers in sows and ear necrosis, occur with high frequency in some pig herds and constitutes a major ethical, welfare and productivity problem in pig herds. When the causes are discussed, factors like poor hygiene, lesions caused by biting and a thin sows are often mentioned and it has until now not been possible to link the problems to any particular infection. As the first group in the world, we have now succeeded in isolating spirochaetes of a novel species, Treponema pedis, not only from ear and shoulder ulcers, but also from pig gingiva. To describe the relationship between Treponema species and shoulder/ear ulcers in pigs we intend to perform the following studies: - Collect bacteria, tissue samples and blood samples from pigs in Swedish herds with ulcers -Study the behavior and environmental factors relevant to the development of shoulder and ear ulcers by video filming the animals with so-called time lapse technique - Use molecular fingerprints of the bacteria to describe the epidemiological context and to trace the source of infection - Determine the DNA sequence of the entire genome of a particular strain of Treponema spp. from a pig ulcer - Based on phage display technique identify Treponema spp. proteins with immunogenic properties - To explore possibilities for treatment by experimental infections and antibacterial resistance studies.

Financier: Formas
Pringle Märit
Collaborator:  Biomedical Science amd Veterinary Public Health (SLU), Swedish Animal Health Service, Danske Tekniske Universitet, National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden.