Swine inflammation and necrosis syndrome is influenced by husbandry and quality of sow in suckling piglets, weaners and fattening pigs
Background Swine inflammation and necrosis syndrome (SINS) is a newly identified syndrome in swine that can affect different parts of the extremities in suckling piglets. This study investigates the hypotheses that the clinical signs of SINS have histological equivalents, that SINS can also be observed in weaners and fatteners, that improving sow quality and husbandry (here the supply of water and fibre) can reduce the signs, and that coprostasis in sows is significantly associated with SINS in their offspring. From a cohort of 123 hybrid sows, the twenty sows exhibiting the best conditions and the twenty exhibiting the worst conditions were selected based on detailed scores from coronary bands, soles, heels, claws and teats. Half of the sows in each group, along with their offspring, were kept under conventional conditions, while the environment for the remaining sows in each group was improved with drinking bowls, water disinfection and additional feeding with hay and straw. In total, 115 suckling piglets, 113 weaners and 103 fatteners were scored for the degree of inflammation and necrosis of their tails, ears, teats, coronary bands, soles, heels and claws. Results The clinical signs of SINS are associated with inflammatory signs at the histological level. SINS scores in suckling piglets, weaners and fatteners derived from low-quality sows under standard husbandry conditions were high, but they decreased significantly when husbandry was improved (water consumption and additional fibre). Sow quality had significant effects on suckling piglets and weaners under standard husbandry conditions. Coprostasis in sows led to significantly higher SINS scores in their offspring at any age. Improved husbandry conditions were associated with a reduced prevalence of coprostasis (R2 = 0.74). Taking all factors together, husbandry improvements, sow quality and coprostasis explained 57, 67 and 45% of SINS score variance in suckling piglets, weaners and fatteners, respectively. Conclusion The present study shows that SINS is not limited to suckling piglets but can also be found in weaners and fatteners. Coprostasis in sows is significantly correlated with SINS in their offspring and adds a good prognostic tool. Water supply and fibre could play a crucial role in combatting the syndrome.