Pleuromutilins Are Important to Control Brachyspira hyodysenteriae

Spirochetal colitis or swine dysentery is a disease of piglets with worldwide distribution.  It can cause severe bloody diarrheal disease with a mortality of up to 50% in herds if untreated and thus can have great economic impact.  The disease has been nearly eradicated in the US but periodically outbreaks still occur albeit rarely.Pass_the_pigs_dice

An asymptomatic carrier pig can infect a herd but mice may also carry B.hyodysenteriae and be the source of a local epidemic.  Diagnosis is not always easy but the organism can be isolated from rectal / fecal cultures.  B. hyodysenteriae is an anaerobic hemolysin-producing spirochete.

Treatment consists of rehydration and antibiotics like carbadox, lincomycin, the pleuromutilins tiamulin and valnemulin, or tylvalocin (a macrolide).[1]  Carbadox is now banned in many countries because of its carcinogenic potential.[2]   Drug resistance has become an issue and pleuromutilins are often necessary as a last resort.  However, of great concern are recent reports of B.hyodysenteriae with increased MICs to tiamulin.[3] [4]

Unlike other Brachyspira species, B. h. has not associated been associated with human disease.

P.S.  for the philhellenes / φιλέλληνες  among you: hys (gen: hyos) = pig !


[3] van Duijkeren. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014 May 3. [Epub]

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