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Salmonella Control Measures at Farm in Swine Production

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Salmonella is one of the most important food-borne pathogens. Each year a high number of cases as well as outbreaks of Salmonella in humans are reported (EFSA, 2011). Despite the fact that Salmonella can cause disease in pigs mainly associated to infections by Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Cholerasuis, the importance of swine salmonellosis is related to human infections caused by pork products. Regarding swine salmonellosis, control programs are not compulsory at the moment but the EU Regulation 2160/2003 has established the need for developing proper and effective measures to detect and control Salmonella at all relevant stages of pork production chain and particularly at the primary production level in order to reduce the prevalence and the risk that Salmonella poses to public health (EU Regulation 2160/2003).

From our point of view, Salmonella control should start at the end of the pork production chain (slaughterhouses and finishing farms) and go back to the first steps of the production system (breeding herds and feed suppliers.

The article aims to give a view of the most relevant control measures that can be used to reduce Salmonella prevalence in swine farms.

Among which, feeding antibiotics is one of the most effective strategies of prophylactically controlling gastrointestinal infections but this practice is in decline because of the concern with antibiotic resistance in human medicine. Even more, the European Union banned the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in food animals in 1999, on the basis of the "precautionary principle". One of the most promising and attractive alternatives to in-feed antibiotics is the use of probiotics and according to this, several researchers have also proposed their utility in the control of Salmonella infections in swine farms.

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