Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1998


Published in 1998 Nebraska Swine Report, compiled by Duane E. Reese, Associate Professor and Extension Swine Specialist, Department of Animal Science. Prepared by the staff in Animal Science and cooperating Departments for use in Extension, Teaching and Research programs. Published by Cooperative Extension Division, Agricultural Research Division, and Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
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Porcine colonic spirochetosis (PCS) is a non-fatal, diarrheal disease affecting pigs during the growing and finishing stages of production. The disease is caused by Serpulina pilosicoli, a newly recognized species of intestinal spirochetes. Because Serpulina pilosicoli is transmitted by the fecaloral route, control measures aimed at reducing environmental contamination, including sanitation and antimicrobial therapy, should be investigated. We determined the antimicrobial susceptibility of seven porcine Serpulina pilosicoli isolates recovered from pigs in the midwestern United States against four antimicrobials commonly used for control of swine dysentery, a disease caused by the related spirochete, Serpulina hyodysenteriae. All the isolates were susceptible to carbadox and tiamulin, whereas the percentages of isolates susceptible, intermediate and resistant were 66.6, 16.6 and 16.6 percent with lincomycin, and 50 percent susceptible and 50 percent resistant with gentamicin. This information is consistent with field observations about the efficacy of the respective antimicrobials for control of PCS.