Tel.+49 30 8385 1845 Fax.+49 30 83845 1863
Recent epidemiological evidence has demonstrated that pork is an important source of yersiniosis in humans. Identifying risk factors and potential interventions in swine production that may decrease the risk of pork production contamination during harvest and processing is an important step before controlling Yersinia spp. Therefore, management strategies and production processes that might be associated with fattening pigs testing seropositive for pathogenic Yersinia spp. were investigated in 80 fattening pig farms. Although >70 farm characteristics were included in the risk assessment, there were only a few that seemed to be connected with serological prevalence: housing on a fully slatted floor and the use of municipal water were observed more often in herds with low serological Yersinia prevalence, whereas recurring health problems and a low daily weight gain compared with the mean of the herds included in the study were found in herds with a high prevalence. Besides, the Yersinia prevalence seemed to be inversely proportional to the herds' serological Salmonella status collected in accordance with German legislation. Additionally, the development of the serological Yersinia status of selected herds was assessed over a period of a year to gain knowledge of the dynamics of Yersinia infections in fattening pig herds. Three out of four serological negative herds maintained a low level of Yersinia prevalence, whereas one herd shifted between negative status and a prevalence of 100%. The reason for these considerable fluctuations could not be explained, and there was no direct association with the analyzed risk factors. Further research should be carried out to prove the given risk factors, especially the possible relation to the Salmonella prevalence before implementing a combined zoonoses surveillance and control program.