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Stadler, Julia; Willi, Stephan; Ritzmann, Mathias; Eddicks, Matthias; Ade, Julia; Hoelzle, Katharina and Hoelzle, Ludwig E. (2019): Detection of Mycoplasma suis in pre-suckling piglets indicates a vertical transmission. In: BMC Veterinary Research 15:252 [PDF, 442kB]


Background Transmission of Mycoplasma (M.) suis mainly occurs via iatrogenic or zootechnical manipulations or due to ranking fights. Other transmission routes including ingestion of secretes/excretes; blood-sucking arthropods and intra-uterine transmission have thought to play an epidemiological role without being experimentally proven. To investigate a vertical transmission of M. suis under field conditions blood samples from pre-suckling piglets and their corresponding dam were examined for M. suis by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in 21 farms in Southern Germany. Results A total of 14.35% of the 474 blood samples from pre-suckling piglets reacted qPCR positive. Additionally, M. suis was detected in 65 (31.25%) of the 208 sows at farrowing. On farm level, 16 (76.2%) of the 21 farms had at least one M. suis positive animal. M. suis positive farms had an average of 0.41 more stillborn piglets per litter than M. suis negative farms (p = 0.007). Conclusion The present study provides further insights into M. suis infection dynamics as it is the first detection of M. suis in piglets immediately after birth prior to colostrum intake and the first large scale investigation of M. suis in sows at farrowing.

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