Arm & Hammer Animal and Food Production

Combating enterotoxigenic E. coli in swine.

Posted January 21, 2022 by Dr. Ellen Davis, Swine Technical Services Manager

Signs of microbial issues on your operation can be a nightmare. So, when one of our customers began seeing signs such as diarrhea and dehydration in their pig nurseries, they knew they needed to act quickly. Realizing that many of these challenges start at the microbial level, they pursued an ARM & HAMMER™ Microbial Terroir™ assessment which characterized the unique pathogenic E. coli diversity of their facility. This assessment allowed us to implement a customized solution tailored to the unique pathogen populations that were found on-farm.

Customized solutions in action.

The study found that in the pre-treatment period there were about half a million colony-forming units of pathogenic E. coli. After treatment was introduced, we were able to lower that count down to about 40,000 colony forming units of pathogenic E. coli—a very biologically significant reduction. In addition, we reduced the percentage of ETEC from 38% prior to treatment being implemented to 15% post-treatment implementation.

CHART: ETEC counts before and after CERTILLUS implementation

CHART: ETEC counts by site type before and after CERTILLUS implementation

Validation studies like this can help us understand the true value of taking a unique, customized approach to combating enterotoxigenic E. coli on swine operations. While antibiotics were the first gut microbial modifiers, we’ve evolved to have a large portfolio of solutions such as probiotics and prebiotics. And with advancements like Microbial Terroir assessments from ARM & HAMMER, we can utilize products like CERTILLUS™ Targeted Microbial Solutions to characterize and treat unique pathogenic challenges.

Evolving challenges require evolving solutions.

Threats facing today’s swine operations are constantly evolving. Whether it’s enterotoxigenic E. coli or another microbial issue, producers are tasked with monitoring numerous emerging issues at any given time.

Challenges at the microbial level can begin to affect performance and productivity before producers are even fully aware of the issue, with effects rippling through the production system. Luckily, advancements in molecular biology have given us the tools necessary to understand what optimal gut health looks like and how we can prevent and treat these issues using gut microbial modifiers.

As threats facing today’s swine operations continue to evolve, solutions must evolve with them. One of these evolving threats is a major F18 E. coli issue that’s plaguing the U.S. swine industry, particularly in the nurseries. For more on this topic and other rapidly emerging threats to swine herd health, check out this recent podcast episode. And while combating constantly evolving threats might seem like an impossible challenge, the latest #ScienceHearted research and solutions are here to help.


To learn more about combating enterotoxigenic E. coli in swine, be sure to listen to Dr. Davis’s recent episode of Food Chain Chats or contact your ARM & HAMMER representative today.



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