Occurrence of intestinal parasites in pigs in Poland - the influence of factors related to the production system


Introduction: The aim of study was to estimate the prevalence and intensity of intestinal parasite infections in pigs in Poland and evaluate the influence of factors related to the production system on the infection intensity.

Material and Methods: A total of 70 pig farms of all Polish provinces, differing in the herd size and production system, were selected for the study. Fresh faecal samples were collected from all age groups: suckling piglets, weaners, fatteners, and lactating sows. Moreover, data were obtained regarding the size of the herd, the use of paddock and all-in/all-out system, the presence of diarrhoea, and the type of flooring.

Results: Parasite eggs or oocysts were detected in 57 of the 70 examined pig farms. Oesphagostomum spp. eggs were found in the largest number of farms (68.6%). Moreover, coccidia (42.9%), Ascaris suum (28.6%), Trichuris suis (21.4%), and Strongyloides spp. (11.4%) were detected. The highest prevalence of coccidia and Strongyloides spp. was found in suckling piglets, A. suum and T. suis in fatteners, and Oesphagostomum spp. in sows. Higher prevalence of parasites was detected in small farms than in medium and large farms, except the prevalence of coccidia, which was the highest in medium farms. Simultaneous infection with several parasites was more often detected than with one parasite. Odds ratio of parasites occurrence was higher in farms with paddock and litter floor and in farms which do not use all-in/all-out system.

Conclusion: Relatively high prevalence of intestinal parasites was found in pigs in Poland. Moreover, specific distribution of parasites in different age groups and farms of different size was observed. Influence of breeding factors on parasite prevalence was identified.

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