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Streptococcus (Streptococcus suis)

Streptococcus suis is a bacterium of the genus Streptocococcus and causes the enzootic Streptokokkenmeningitis of pigs.

S. suis belongs to the Gram-positive bacteria. It is also human pathogen and thus a zoonotic agents.

The bacterium is of great importance in pig herds as pathogens of diseases, especially in the suckling pig and rearing area, but also in the mast, losses due to streptococcus occur.

The infection with Streptococcus is a common problem – by Streptococcus suis the sucking piglets usually fall ill at the end of the first week of life. The infection is done via the sow.

Streptococcus are an integral part of the pig's natural germ flora. They can also be found on the throat of healthy pigs, for example. Problems occur when the streptococcus penetrates into the bloodstream of the animals. This way you get into your lungs, joints, brains or heart bags. They settle, multiply and lead to inflammations that are responsible for the typical disease patterns of the Streptokokkeninfektion.

Typically, the affected piglet gets fever, shows a disturbed general condition and often also a rough shaggy coat. The joints of the animals show swelling.

The dreaded meningitis inflammation (meningitis), in which the end-stage animals are rowing sideways on the ground, is usually caused by an ear infection. Accordingly, the first symptom is often a skewing of the head or a twisting of the eyes.

However, the Streptococcus only enter the bloodstream of the animals if there are entrance gates and the physical defense cannot eliminate the pathogens. Entrance doors include, for example, the umbilical wound, abrasions on the joints, castration wounds or wounds after ranking fights.

The fact that the piglet's immune system cannot eliminate the streptococcus has various reasons, such as not sufficient animal milk supply for piglets, stress through rank fights or a mixture of piglets from different backgrounds, so that the defense system of the Animals are confronted with Streptokokkenstämmen, against which it has not yet formed antibodies.

Since Streptococcus suis occurs practically everywhere, hygiene is the top priority in the affected plants. Particularly endangered are litters of MMA sick sows and underweight piglets whose immune system cannot eliminate the germ.

(Sources: "Streptococus suis "; Dr. Theodor Schulze-Horsel; Vet-Team-Schleswig-Holstein GmbH)


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