Colibacillosis also known as Escherichia Coli Scours, Baby Pig Scours, Post weaning Escherichia Coli Diarrhea, names which are also used to label an intestinal disorder of new born or recently weaned pigs. the disease is characterised by large amounts of liquid faeces.
- E. Coli bacteria are normal inhabitants of the intestinal tract and are present in large numbers in the large intestine. Certain strains are classified as pathogenic ,meaning that they produce diseases. The E. coli strains causing diarrhea in pigs have special abilities to multiply to high numbers in the small intestines and in the process produce toxins, which manifest the disease symptoms.
- The strains causing diarrhea in newborn or recently weaned pigs produce entorotoxin (enterotoxigenic E. coli) that causes massive fluid loss from the body into the intestine.
- newborn pigs do not have antibodies at birth but get it from the colostrum (first milk) of the sows. Colostrum has antibodies against many different organisms depending on the sow`s exposure/vaccination program.
- in recently weaned pigs the disease is triggered by stress associated with weaning; loss of protection from antibodies in the milk, Social stress (separation from the mother) and change in diet.
- consequently large quantities of pale yellow watery faeces are passed
- pigs become dehydrated,thirsty and continue to nurse until they become too weak to do so
- hair coat becomes roughened
Treatment and control
- the basic approaches to prevention are sanitation and good management practices. clean farrowing and nursery facilities should be sanitised to reduce the number of disease causing organisms
- implement the all in all out facility management
- make sure piglets suckle colostrums, feed well and introduce solid before weaning
- enhance immunity of sows y using vaccines from bacterial pili
- the farrowing facility should provide a dry and comfortable environment
- treatment can be done by the use of antimicrobials administered orally or by injection, but causion should be taken to treat the whole litter even those which are not sick as the disease is contagious