Subclinical infections with Salmonella Typhimurium occur frequently in pigs. They constitute a risk for human salmonellosis and are difficult to control with currently available control measures. Vaccination against Salmonella Typhimurium in pigs can be an effective tool to control Salmonella infections at farm level. In the present study, the efficacy of an attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium vaccine (Salmoporc®, IDT Biologika) to control Salmonella infections in pigs was evaluated in three subclinically infected pig herds. The effect on Salmonella excretion and the number of pigs positive for Salmonella Typhimurium field and vaccine strains in ileocecal lymph nodes at slaughter were evaluated using five different vaccination strategies: 1. vaccination of sows, 2. vaccination of sows and piglets, 3. vaccination of sows and fattening pigs, 4. vaccination of piglets, 5. vaccination of fattening pigs, which were all compared to a non-vaccinated control group (experimental group 6). Each vaccination strategy was implemented in each farm, during two consecutive production cycles of the same sows. The prevalence of Salmonella Typhimurium field strain excretion was low; in total, 4% of the fecal and overshoe samples collected in the non-vaccinated control group were Salmonella Typhimurium field strain positive. The excretion of Salmonella Typhimurium field strain did not significantly differ between farms, production cycles and experimental groups. Applying vaccination in either sows and piglets, sows and fattening pigs, or in piglets only, resulted in a significantly reduced number of Salmonella Typhimurium field strain positive lymph nodes of slaughter pigs in the second production cycle, but not in the first production cycle. Vaccination of sows and piglets resulted in the most consistent reduction of Salmonella Typhimurium field strain positive lymph nodes at slaughter. The vaccine strain was detected in the lymph nodes of 13 pigs at slaughter, indicating the possible persistence of the vaccine strain until slaughter. Because of limitations in the study design, and the variability between farms and production cycles, the results of the current observational study should be extrapolated with care. Nevertheless, the results provide evidence that applying vaccination against Salmonella Typhimurium in sows and piglets (preferred), sows and fattening pigs, and piglets only can support the control of Salmonella Typhimurium infections by decreasing the prevalence of Salmonella Typhimurium field strain positive lymph nodes at slaughter.
- Salmonella Typhimurium