A continuing upward trend of disease in UK pigs due to Escherichia coli (E.coli) is highlighted in the latest quarterly report on emerging disease threats, published by the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA).
Noting that since 2013, there has been an upward trend in the annual diagnostic rate for E.coli in pigs, APHA reported that the latest data indicates a further upturn is taking place, with the diagnostic rate from October to December 2015 increasing to 12%, compared to 8.2% in the same period in 2014.
“The numbers of each E. coli disease type diagnosed each year shows a rise in cases of enteric colibacillosis and, particularly, oedema disease, but not colisepticaemia,” it is stated.
“This data is supported by field observations from some pig veterinarians, with oedema disease seen more recently in some regions, such as East Anglia, which had not previously confirmed cases for some years.”
While adding that the reasons behind the rising trend in E.coli diagnoses are “not known”, APHA pointed out that E.coli vaccines have become available to complement other control measures in combating “these significant diseases”, making it all the more important that diagnoses are confirmed.
“An APHA presentation on diagnosis of enteric disease in pigs is planned at the Pig Veterinary Society Spring Meeting in April 2016,” added the agency. “This will provide an opportunity to highlight this trend and other current potential threats.”