Evaluation of stocking density and subtherapeutic chlortetracycline on Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica shedding in growing swine

Julie Funk, Thomas E. Wittum, Jeffrey T. LeJeune, Päivi J. Rajala-Schultz, Andrew Bowman, Andrew Mack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The objective of this research was to determine the effect of stocking density and inclusion of subtherapeutic chlortetracycline in the diet on Salmonella fecal prevalence and antimicrobial resistance in growing swine. A 2 × 2 factorial design was employed on a privately owned commercial swine farm. Four finisher rooms were included in the study. Two of the rooms received 50 g/tonnes of chlortetracycline in the ration, two rooms received no antimicrobials in the feed. In each room, alternate pens were assigned to either high stocking density (0.60 m2/pig) or low stocking density (0.74 m2/pig). Pigs were placed in the finisher rooms at 10 weeks of age and followed for 6 weeks. Individual fecal samples were collected from the floors of each pen and cultured once weekly. Antimicrobial resistance phenotypes were determined. Data were analyzed using multilevel, multivariable logistic regression. Pigs fed chlortetracycline were at increased odds (OR 6.88, 95% CI 2.77-17.12) to shed Salmonellae. No other associations between treatments (CTC and stocking density) and Salmonella prevalence or reduced susceptibility to antimicrobials were identified. Variance in the odds of a fecal sample to be positive was distributed mostly at the lowest level, the individual fecal sample. The increased risk of shedding associated with inclusion of subtherapeutic chlortetracycline in swine diets is discordant with previous results by our group, suggesting farm or strain specific factors may impact this association. Understanding this risk may provide a potential intervention for controlling Salmonella pre-harvest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-208
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Oct 6 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Antimicrobials
  • Epidemiology-foodborne diseases
  • Foodborne disease-bacterial
  • Salmonella
  • Stocking density
  • Swine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • General Veterinary

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