Drinking water: route for infection in weaned piglets?
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Biofilms are found in most water systems, and therefore also in drinking water. Biofilms are a population of bacteria in a slime matrix called Extracellular Polymeric Substance (EPS). A biofilm can be attached to a surface or a loose flock of cells. Sessile bacteria in biofilms can cause infections in weaned pig. Water medication is often used in pig farms and can be a cause for biofilms formation in the farms water system due to excipients. The excipients are added to the drugs, in order to help them dissolve in water. Examples of these excipients are lactose, sucrose and nitrate. Lactose, sucrose are nutrients for bacteria and biofilms growth. The two most important biofilm producing pathogens in Dutch pig farms are Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia en Streptococcus suis type 2 and 9. The aim of this study is to determine whether the use of antibiotics in drinking water influences the presence of either one of these pathogens in biofilm. Eighteen water samples and 17 swabs samples at eight Dutch pig farms are taken from the piglet drinking nipples. Samples are tested with qPCR for presence of DNA of Actinobacillus pleuroneumoniae and Streptococcus Suis type 2 and 9. Only two water samples of the thirty-five collected samples are positive for both bacteria. One for Actinobacillus pleuropneumonia, that is taken at a farm that does not use water medication. And one for Streptococcus Suis type 9, that is taken at a farm that does use water medication. Due to lack of results the current study reveals no relation between the presence of biofilm producing bacteria in drinking water and pathophysiology in piglets.