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Wild rodents as carriers of potential pathogens to pigs, chickens and humans

with special emphasis on Brachyspira spp. and Yersinia enterocolitica

Backhans, Annette (2011). Wild rodents as carriers of potential pathogens to pigs, chickens and humans. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala, Sverige : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 44
ISBN 978-91-576-7588-0
[Doctoral thesis]

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The aim of this thesis was to investigate the specific risks that rodents constitute for proliferation of pathogens and transmission of those to farm animals, and indirectly to humans. Rodents were captured in pig and chicken flocks, in wastewater treatment plants and other urban environments.

The enteric pig pathogens Brachyspira hyodysenteriae and B. pilosicoli and the chicken pathogen B. intermedia were detected. Fingerprinting by Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis indicated cross-species transmission of B. pilosicoli, B. intermedia, B. innocens, and B. murdochii between rodents and farm animals. A phylogeny of murine brachyspiras was established. Three new genetic rodent variants of Brachyspira spp. were discovered, for which the provisional names ‘B. rattus’, ‘B. muridarum’ and ‘B. muris’ were suggested. Lawsonia intracellularis and encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) were detected in rodents trapped on pig farms. The clinical significance of leptospirosis in Sweden is reportedly minor. However, the detection of pathogenic leptospiras in mice, rats and a water vole indicated that rodents constitute a potential hazard to pigs and humans. Campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis and yersiniosis are the most frequently reported zoonosis in Europe. Rodents in the study carried C. jejuni, C. coli and C. upsaliensis. Identical isolates of the human pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica bioserotype 4/O:3 were isolated both from rodents and pigs on the same farm, indicating cross-species transmission. Salmonella enterica could not be detected by the applied real-time PCR, indicating a low sensitivity of this test. No zoonotic variants of Giardia spp. or Cryptosporidium spp. were detected. All samples were tested negative for Trichinella spp. indicating that trichinellosis is not a widespread infection in wild rodents in Sweden. No rodents were seropositive to Toxoplasma gondii.

In conclusion, the results show that rodents could be a risk for the transmission of the pig pathogens Lawsonia intracellularis, Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, B. pilosicoli, pathogenic Leptospira spp. and EMCV, and zoonotic Campylobacter species and Yersinia enterocolitica 4/O:3 in Sweden.

Authors/Creators:Backhans, Annette
Title:Wild rodents as carriers of potential pathogens to pigs, chickens and humans
Subtitle:with special emphasis on Brachyspira spp. and Yersinia enterocolitica
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2011
Number of Pages:83
IBackhans, A., Johansson, K.E., Fellström, C. (2010). Phenotypic and molecular characterization of Brachyspira spp. isolated from wild rodents. Environmental Microbiology Reports 2 (6), 720-727.
II Backhans, A., Fellström, C., Thisted Lambertz, S. Occurrence of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in small wild rodents. Epidemiology and Infection, Cambridge
III Backhans, A., Jansson D.S., Aspàn A., Fellström, C. (2011). Typing of Brachyspira spp. from rodents, pigs and chickens on Swedish farms. Veterinary Microbiology (Accepted)
IV Backhans, A, Jacobsson, M., Hansson, I., Lebbad, M., Thisted Lambertz, S., Gammelgård, E., Saager, M., Akande, O., Fellström, C. (2011). Presence of several pathogens in wild rodents caught on Swedish pig and chicken farms. (Manuscript)
Place of Publication:Uppsala, Sverige
Publisher:John Wiley and Sons, Cambridge University Press, Elsevier
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7588-0
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:Obsolete subject words > INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 403 Veterinary Science > Clinical Science
Agrovoc terms:swine, chicken, rodents, pathogens, disease transmission, sweden
Keywords:Brachyspira spp, Yersinia enterocolitica, rodents
Permanent URL:
ID Code:8105
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Clinical Sciences
External funders:FORMAS and Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning
Deposited By: Annette Backhans
Deposited On:02 May 2011 10:51
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:46

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