A recent University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine study shows that pigs infected with Lawsonia intracellularis, a bacterial pathogen that causes disease in pigs and horses, predisposes these animals to shed the foodborne pathogen Salmonella enterica.
According to the university, the results of this study will be used as the basis for future research that is designed to show that vaccinating pigs for L. intracellularis could decrease shedding of S. enterica, potentially helping to reduce the number of foodborne illnesses attributed to this pathogen.
Pigs are frequent asymptomatic carriers of S. enterica, and pigs that carry the pathogen can result in contaminated pork products.
“Swine can act as a reservoir for the spread of S. enterica throughout the herd, within the packing plant and during processing to the finished product,” the study noted.
The study, Changes in the porcine intestinal microbiome in response to infection with Salmonella enterica and Lawsonia intracellularis, was published in the Oct. 13 issue of PLOS One, a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science (PLOS).