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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 9 Apr 2010
Source: La Industria, Peru [trans. Mod.MPP, edited]
Approximately 100 pigs were infected with a rare disease, one that
presented with patches of bluish-black coloration, allegedly because
of problems with blood circulation, from which many of these poor
animals have died.
The presence of this disease in pigs in the provinces of Chepen and
Pacasmayo was announced by the veterinary surgeons of this city, Luis
Enrique Farro Roque, and Samuel Tapia De la Cruz.
They did not state any disease in connection with this case, but the
presumption is "pig cholera" or "swine erysipelas," according to the
clinical picture observed.
On Thursday morning [8 Apr 2010], residents of the streets Arequipa
and Guadalupe Streets in lower Chepen city were surprised to see a
pig lying in the vicinity of these streets. It was alive but in bad
health condition, with spots on the ears, abdomen, and testicles.
One of those present claimed to have taken the animal from the ditch
that crosses the city at the height of the aforementioned streets. It
is assumed that a pig farmer [put it in an] irrigation canal [to show
the delicate state these animals were in].
"What we're seeing with a bit of concern is the high incidence of
pigs with presumed of hog cholera or swine erysipelas. Every day, I
have cases of people with their pigs with motor problems, cyanosis
(bluish, blackish) ears, abdominal cavity, and the death of these
animals after 5 to 10 days," Farro Roque told reporters.
Noting that several pigs have presumably died from this disease,
Farro recalled that on 18 Mar 2010 there was a similar case reported
to the National Agrarian Health Service (SENASA), from which
specimens of kidney and spleen were taken, but results of that
examination to date are not known.
Six days later, on 24 Mar 2010, Farro Rolue said that a pig with
similar characteristics was detected in the municipal slaughterhouse
pen, which the representative of Senasa-Chepen was informed of, and
who was present for the collection of the respective samples for
laboratory analysis. He argued that reporting these events is their
obligation. "Suddenly [things] have gone wrong because I have not
been informed of the outcome."
Farro Roque pointed out that a veterinarian of Chepen Provincial
Municipality currently on holiday, upon being informed of what
happened yesterday [8 Apr 2010], said he had to insure that the
infected pigs are not taken to another destination, presumably for
marketing purposes. With regard to yesterday [8 Apr 2010], he said
the pig was alive but that the clinical picture presented was
presumably hog cholera or erysipelas, which, like the previous cases,
he was required to report to SENASA. Farro Roque estimated he knew of
about 30 cases.
According to the veterinarian Samuel Tapia de la Cruz, there have
been more than 100 pigs with this disease. "We are awaiting
laboratory tests to determine 100 percent if it is hog cholera," he said.
For his part, the representative of Senasa-Chepen, Hector Chico
Albitres, who arrived at the scene, chose to remain silent saying he
was awaiting results after having sent the specimens from the animal
to the laboratory in Lima. The animal found yesterday [8 Apr 2010]
was cremated, but specimens were taken beforehand.
[Currently, Peru is listed as being free of African swine fever.
However, classical swine fever and African swine fever cannot be
differentiated except by laboratory analysis.
Erysipelas is an infectious disease caused by _Erysipelothrix
rhusiopathiae_ seen mainly in growing pigs and characterized
clinically by sudden death, fever, arthritis, and skin lesions. The
disease may be acute, subacute, or chronic. Although acute septicemic
swine erysipelas can result in a high mortality rate, the greatest
economic loss probably occurs from the chronic, nonfatal forms of the disease.
The acute, subacute, and chronic forms of swine erysipelas may occur
in sequence or separately. Pigs with the acute septicemic form may
die suddenly without previous signs. This occurs most frequently in
finishing pigs (100-200 lb [45-90 kg]). Acutely infected pigs are
febrile (104-108 F [40-42 C]), walk stiffly on their toes, lie on
their sternums separately rather than piling in groups, and are
reluctant to move. They squeal plaintively when handled and may shift
weight from foot to foot when standing. Anorexia and thirst are
common. Skin discoloration may vary from widespread erythema and
purplish discoloration of the ears, snout, and abdomen, to
diamond-shaped skin lesions almost anywhere on the body, but
particularly the lateral and dorsal parts. The lesions may occur as
pink or light-purple areas of varying size that become raised and
firm to the touch within 2-3 days of illness. They may disappear or
progress to a more chronic type of lesion such as diamond-skin
disease. If untreated, necrosis and separation of large areas of skin
can occur, but more commonly, the tips of the ears and tail may
become necrotic and slough.
Clinical disease is usually sporadic, and affects individuals or
small groups, but sometimes larger outbreaks occur. Mortality is
0-100 percent, and death may occur up to 6 days after the 1st signs
of illness. Acutely affected pregnant sows may abort, probably due to
the fever, and suckling sows may show agalactia. Untreated pigs may
develop the chronic form, usually characterized by chronic arthritis,
vegetative valvular endocarditis, or both; such lesions may also be
seen in pigs with no previous signs of septicemia. Valvular
endocarditis is most common in mature or young adult pigs and is
frequently manifest by death, usually from embolism or cardiac
insufficiency. Chronic arthritis, the most common form of chronic
infection, produces mild to severe lameness; the affected joints may
be difficult to detect but tend to become hot and painful to touch
and later visibly enlarged and firm, resulting in lameness. Dark
purple, necrotic skin lesions that commonly slough may be seen.
Mortality in chronic cases is low, but growth rate is retarded.
Acute erysipelas is difficult to diagnose in individual pigs showing
only fever, poor appetite, and listlessness; however, in outbreaks
involving several animals, the presence of skin lesions and lameness
is likely to be seen in at least some cases and would support a
clinical diagnosis. Erysipelas responds extremely well to penicillin;
a marked improvement within 24 hr also supports the diagnosis. The
typical diamond-shaped skin lesions are diagnostic. Arthritis and
endocarditis are difficult to diagnose in live animals because other
agents can cause similar syndromes (extracted from:
Classical swine fever (CSF) is a highly contagious and economically
significant viral disease of pigs. The severity of this disease
varies with the strain of the virus, the age of the pig, and the
immune status of the herd. Acute infections, which are caused by
highly virulent isolates and have a high mortality rate, are likely
to be diagnosed rapidly. However, infections with less virulent
isolates can be more difficult to recognize, particularly in older
pigs. These infections may be relatively mild, and can resemble
septicemias caused by other agents, as well as other diseases. In
some herds, the only sign may be poor reproductive performance or the
failure of some pigs to thrive. The wide range of clinical signs and
similarity to other diseases can make classical swine fever
challenging to diagnose.
Classical swine fever (hog cholera) results from infection by
classical swine fever virus (CSFV), a member of the genus
_Pestivirus_ and family Flaviviridae. Only one CSFV serotype has been
found, but minor antigenic variability has been demonstrated between
viral strains. This virus is closely related to the ruminant
pestiviruses that cause bovine virus diarrhea and border disease.
Other pestiviruses have also been described recently.
The signs of classical swine fever vary with the strain of virus, and
the age and susceptibility of the pigs. More virulent strains cause
acute disease; less virulent strains can result in a high percentage
of chronic, mild or asymptomatic infections. Although highly virulent
strains were once more prevalent, most epizootics are now caused by
moderately virulent strains. Older animals are less likely to show
severe symptoms than younger pigs. Some breed-specific differences
have also been reported.
Acute swine fever is the most severe form of the disease. In this
form, common signs include a high fever, huddling, weakness,
drowsiness, anorexia, conjunctivitis, and constipation followed by
diarrhea. Pigs may be uncoordinated or exhibit an unsteady, weaving
or staggering gait, which progresses to posterior paresis. Some pigs
may vomit yellow, bile-containing fluid, or develop respiratory
signs. The abdomen, inner thighs, ears and tail may develop a purple
cyanotic discoloration. Hemorrhages can also occur in the skin.
Severe leukopenia usually occurs soon after disease onset, and
convulsions may be seen in the terminal stages. Pigs with acute
classical swine fever often die within 1-3 weeks.
Subacute disease can be caused moderately virulent strains of CSFV.
It may also occur in older pigs. The subacute form is similar to
acute classical swine fever; however, the signs are less severe, and
the fever may persist for 2 to 3 weeks. Some pigs with subacute
classical swine fever may survive; others die within a month.
Chronic disease tends to be seen with less virulent strains or in
partially immune herds. In the initial stages, chronic disease can
resemble acute or subacute disease, with anorexia, depression,
elevated temperatures, leukopenia, and periods of constipation or
diarrhea. Affected pigs usually improve after several weeks; however,
after a period where they appear relatively normal, they develop
recurrent signs that may include intermittent fever, anorexia,
periods of constipation or diarrhea, wasting or stunted growth,
alopecia and skin lesions. Immunosuppression may lead to concurrent
infections. The signs of chronic infections can wax and wane for
weeks to months, and may affect only a few animals in the herd.
Affected pigs may survive for one to three months, but chronic
infections are always fatal (extracted from:
As one can tell from these disease-specific sections, it would be
difficult clinically to tell the difference between classical swine
fever and erysipelas. The article does not provide enough clinical
signs to make a reasonable attempt at a diagnosis.
Erysipelas is not a notifiable/reportable disease in Peru, however
classical swine fever is. Classical swine fever has been diagnosed in
Peru within the last several years. - Mod.TG]
Classical swine fever - Peru: (LB) 20090514.1799]
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