Publications by authors named "Virpi Sali"

2 Publications

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Antimicrobial use, biosecurity, herd characteristics, and antimicrobial resistance in indicator Escherichia coli in ten Finnish pig farms.

Prev Vet Med 2021 Aug 10;193:105408. Epub 2021 Jun 10.

Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.

We investigated connections between antimicrobial use (AMU), biosecurity, and the numbers of pigs and staff in ten Finnish farrow-to-finish herds. Data on AMU in each herd were collected for 12 months. AMU was quantified as treatment incidences per 1000 days at risk (TI) using the consensus defined daily dose calculation. Biosecurity was scored using the Biocheck.UGent™ system. We also examined antimicrobial resistance patterns of indicator E. coli isolated from faeces of selected pigs. In each herd, two groups of five pigs were formed: 1) antimicrobial treatment group (ANT: at least one pig in the litter was identified as sick and treated with antimicrobials) and 2) non-antimicrobial treatment group (NON: the litter was not medicated). Faecal samples were taken from these pigs at 5 and 22 weeks of age, cultured, and indicator E. coli isolates were tested for antimicrobial susceptibilities. The AMU varied considerably between the herds. Altogether, most of the antimicrobial treatment courses were assigned to weaned piglets. When AMU was quantified as TIs, suckling piglets had the highest TI (mean 46.6), which was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than TIs in fatteners and breeders (9.3 and 7.3, respectively). The difference between TI in suckling and TI in weaned piglets (19.1) was not statistically significant. There was a tendency for a negative correlation between the TI in breeders and the number of sows (r = -0.56, P = 0.09). Larger herds had higher external biosecurity scores than smaller herds (LS-means; 72 vs. 66, P < 0.05). The proportions of E. coli isolates resistant to at least one antimicrobial were higher in pigs at 5 weeks than in pigs at 22 weeks of age (Binomial proportion means; 40.5 % vs. 15.5 %, P < 0.05); as well as proportions of isolates resistant to at least three antimicrobial classes (23.0 % vs. 3.7 %, P < 0.01). These proportions did not differ between the ANT and NON groups at either 5 or 22 weeks of age (P> 0.05). We found few connections: enhanced external biosecurity levels found in the large herds co-occurred with lower use of antimicrobials and herds with low biosecurity scores - especially in the internal subcategories - appeared to have higher proportions of resistant isolates. Conclusively, we suggest that enhancing internal biosecurity might contribute to a reduction in the spreading of antimicrobial resistance in pig herds.
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August 2021

Herd-Level and Individual Differences in Fecal Lactobacilli Dynamics of Growing Pigs.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Jan 7;11(1). Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Production Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki, 04920 Saarentaus, Finland.

We studied the fecal lactobacilli count and species diversity of growing pigs along with immune parameters associated with intestinal lactobacilli. Thirty pigs categorized as small (S, = 12) or large (L, = 18) at birth were followed from birth to slaughter in two commercial herds, H1 and H2. Herds differed in terms of their general management. We determined sow colostrum quality, colostrum intake, piglet serum immunoglobulins, and pig growth. We took individual fecal samples from pigs in the weaning and finishing units. We studied lactobacilli count and identified their diversity with 16S PCR. Total lactobacilli count increased in H1 and decreased in H2 between samplings. Lactobacilli species diversity was higher in H1 in both fecal sampling points, whereas diversity decreased over time in both herds. We identified altogether seven lactobacilli species with a maximum of five (one to five) species in one herd. However, a relatively large proportion of lactobacilli remained unidentified with the used sequencing technique. Small pigs had higher lactobacilli counts in both herds but the difference was significant only in H2 ( = 0.01). Colostrum quality was numerically better in H1 than in H2, where colostrum intake tended to be associated with total lactobacilli count ( = 0.05).
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January 2021