Herd-level risk factors for Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica in U.S. market pigs

P. B. Bahnson, P. J. Fedorka-Cray, S. R. Ladely, N. E. Mateus-Pinilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Midwest U.S. herds (n = 63) were studied to identify risk factors for harboring Salmonella enterica among slaughter-weight pigs. Samples collected on farms (feces) and at slaughter (distal colonic content, cecal content and ileocolic lymph nodes) were cultured using conventional means. Approximately 15 pigs were studied per herd, for a total of 3754 samples. The proportion of pigs positive in one or more samples was calculated for each herd. Herd characteristics were described by a combination of interview and written survey. Logistic regression was used to detect relationships between the detection of Salmonella and potential herd-level risk factors. The mean individual pig prevalence was 5% for feces, 4% for distal colonic content, 15% for ileocolic lymph nodes, and 17% for cecal contents. One or more Salmonella isolates were detected in at least one sample type in every herd. The five most common serovars were S. Agona, S. Derby, S. Schwarzengrund, S. Typhimurium and S. Senftenberg, with 25 additional serovars detected. Salmonella prevalence estimates were positively correlated among all samples except distal colonic content and ileocolic lymph nodes. Pigs with culture positive fecal samples were at increased odds of being detected positive for each of the slaughter-collected samples examined, namely distal colonic content (OR = 30.5), ileocolic lymph nodes (OR = 12.9) and cecal content (OR = 23.2). Herds with positive fecal sample(s) had increased odds of having positive cecal content (OR > 1.5), distal colonic content (OR = 15.3) and ileocolic lymph nodes (OR = 12.7). Pigs from herds with at least some bowl drinkers had eight-fold higher odds of testing Salmonella positive than did pigs from herds with only nipple drinkers. Pigs from herds with only dry feeders had five-fold higher odds of testing Salmonella positive when compared with pigs from herds with combinations of wet/dry style feeders. Interventions at these two points should be considered when designing growing pig facilities to reduce Salmonella shedding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-262
Number of pages14
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 17 2006


  • Herd-level risk factors
  • Lairage
  • Prevalence
  • Salmonella
  • Slaughter
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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