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High anti-Ascaris seroprevalence in fattening pigs in Sichuan, China, calls for improved management strategies

Authors
  • Zheng, Youle1
  • Xie, Yue1
  • Geldhof, Peter2
  • Vlaminck, Johnny2
  • Ma, Guangxu3
  • Gasser, Robin B.3
  • Wang, Tao3
  • 1 Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan, 611130, People’s Republic of China , Chengdu (China)
  • 2 Ghent University, Merelbeke, 9820, Belgium , Merelbeke (Belgium)
  • 3 The University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC, 3010, Australia , Parkville (Australia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Parasites & Vectors
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Feb 12, 2020
Volume
13
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/s13071-020-3935-4
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

BackgroundAscariasis, caused by Ascaris suum, is an important soil-transmitted parasitic disease of pigs worldwide. It leads to significant economic losses in the pork industry, as a consequence of low feed conversion efficiency in pigs and liver condemnation at slaughter. Despite ascariasis still being widespread on pig farms in many developing and the industrialised countries, there are surprisingly limited data on porcine ascariasis in China, where nearly half of the world’s total pork is produced.MethodsIn the present study, using the recently developed A. suum-haemoglobin (As-Hb) antigen-based serological test, we screened 512 individual serum samples from fattening pigs from 13 farms across seven distinct locations of Sichuan Province in China for anti-Ascaris antibody.ResultsThe prevalence of anti-Ascaris antibody ranged from 0% to 100% on the distinct farms, with the mean (overall) seroprevalence being > 60%. There was no significant difference in seroprevalence between the intensive and extensive farms.ConclusionsTo our knowledge, this is the first study to measure anti-Ascaris seroprevalence in China. The results of this ‘snapshot’ investigation indicate that Ascaris infection in commercial pig farms in Sichuan Province is seriously underestimated, encouraging future, large-scale serological studies to assess the distribution and extent of Ascaris exposure and infection in various regions of China and the world.

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