Zoonotic pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in ‘animal-friendly’ pig production systems in Switzerland
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The SafePork conference series began in 1996 to bring together international researchers, industry, and government agencies to discuss current Salmonella research and identify research needs pertaining to both pig and pork production. In subsequent years topics of research presented at these conferences expanded to include other chemical and biological hazards to pig and pork production.
In a cross-sectional study, the impact of ‘animal-friendly’ housing systems on the prevalence of Salmonella species, Campylobacter species, and Yersinia enterocolitica in finishing pigs and pork was investigated. Furthermore, antimicrobial resistance patterns of isolated campylobacter strains were analysed. In faecal samples of two out of 88 fattening pig farms salmonellae were isolated. All 865 samples of pork were found to be negative. Campylobacter was isolated on 98.9 % of the farms but only from 0.2 % of the pork samples. Yersiniae were found in samples of 63.3 % of the farms and in 15.4 % of pork samples. For all three bacteria, there was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence between conventional and ‘animal-friendly’ housing systems. In ‘animal-friendly’ farms, antimicrobial resistance of campylobacter isolates to fluoroquinolones and streptomycin was significantly less frequent than in conventional farms. Furthermore, fewer isolates had resistance to three or more antimicrobials in ‘animal-friendly’ farms.