Balantidium coli in pig farms suspected of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) associated enteritis
Journal of Veterinary Research
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Introduction: Diarrhoea in growing-finishing pigs is a common problem of commercial pig farms. Among many causative factors, porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is one considered an important pathogen in modern pig production. The aim of the study was to verify if PCV2 was responsible for antibiotic non-responsive diarrhoea and wasting in pigs. Material and Methods: A total of 13 dead pigs aged between 12 and 15 weeks from three Polish farms with persistent herd symptoms suggestive of PCV2 infection were provided for evaluation. Sections of lymph nodes and intestines were analysed by in situ hybridization (ISH) for PCV2 and histopathological examination. Faeces and intestinal scrapings were tested for Lawsonia intracellularis and Brachyspira hyodysenteriae by real-time PCR and for parasitic infection by flotation and decantation. Results: ISH and histopathological examination showed that all pigs were PCV2 systemic disease negative. Swine dysentery was confirmed by real-time PCR on two farms, and proliferative enteropathy on one farm. In histological examinations, erosions of the caecal and colonic mucosa were found, together with cysts and trophozoites of Balantidium coli. The protozoa were present in the intestinal lumen and mucosa. B. coli cysts were identified in faeces from all examined pigs. Conclusion: These results suggest that monitoring of B. coli infections should be an additional measure of control and prevention of gastrointestinal tract disorders in modern swine husbandry.
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