Epidemiology and Infection


A case-control study on the occurrence of Salmonella spp. in the environment of pigs

V. GOTTERa1 c1, T. BLAHAa2 and G. KLEINa1

a1 University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Institute of Food Quality and Food Safety, Hannover, Germany

a2 University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Field Station for Epidemiology, Bakum, Germany


The objective of this study was to compare the occurrence of Salmonella spp. found in the animal environment in pig herds with different Salmonella risks (61 herds with low seroprevalence, 81 herds with high seroprevalence) on a broad scale. The environmental samples were divided into two types: direct (n=1105) and indirect (n=1220) environmental samples. All samples were tested for Salmonella spp. via real-time polymerase chain reaction. Most of the indirect environments were more often Salmonella-positive in the high-seroprevalence herds than in the low-seroprevalence herds; significantly higher were compartment aisles [odds ratio (OR) 3·45, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·61–7·41], driving boards (OR 3·06, 95% CI 1·38–6·92) and the central aisle of the barn (OR 3·03, 95% CI 1·35–6·83). The overall results show that especially areas in the indirect environment are the major, but mostly underestimated causes of residual Salmonella.

(Accepted January 28 2011)

(Online publication February 16 2011)