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Erysipelas

Erysipelas is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae.

It is commonly know as "diamond skin disease". Significant production losses may result from erysipelas in pigs causing deaths, abortion, ill-thrift and rejection of carcasses at the abattoir. The economic losses due to slow growth and chronic illness can be greater than those resulting from acute outbreaks. For example, in the grower herd a 10 gram per day reduction in growth rate equates to a reduction in returns per sow of around $30.

Although erysipelas is widespread across the pig industry, outbreaks of acute disease are less common than chronic infections.

Erysipelas in pigs may present as either an acute, sub-acute or chronic infection. The clinical symptoms vary.

Because the organism can survive for long periods in the environment, a continuing preventative vaccination program is recommended.

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