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Porcine Ileitis (PI) or Porcine Proliferative Enteropathy is an enteric infectious disease caused by the bacteria, Lawsonia Intracellularis (LI), a gram-negative bacteria with a sigmoid or curved shape and a single long flagellum. The disease manifests itself in growth, finishing and in young breeders, hence its great negative economic impact.

Although the disease in pigs was first reported in 1931, it can affect other animal species (intraspecific transmission is possible), it does not cause zoonosis (it does not infect humans). To this day it is not possible to grow it in synthetic environment and it only grows in cell cultures.

Unfortunately, not much is known about the epidemiology of the disease, but it is estimated that it is present in numerous countries and that the prevalence could oscillate in a wide range, between 30 to 90% of farms.


1) Acute or hemorrhagic form: affects young adults between four to 12 months of age, generally replacement gilts or bait animals close to the age of slaughter. It is characterized by an acute hemorrhagic syndrome with profuse bloody diarrhea or sudden death. Black, tarry-looking feces are often seen early in the clinical presentation, or in mild cases when the animal is recovering.

2) Chronic form: the chronic form of PI affects pigs in the post-weaning phase between six and 20 weeks of age. These pigs present a transitory diarrhea that has a consistency between liquid and pasty, with a colour between grey and green (in the chronic form, mucus is not observed in feces).

3) Subacute form: The subclinical form of IP could be considered the most common. It is characterized by the negative impact it has on the growth rate of animals, without obvious diarrhea being observed.


The infection occurs through the feco-oral route.

1- Horizontal transmission.

This is the infection among pigs with subclinical infection (carriers), which shed the bacteria continuously, but without showing symptoms.

2- Vertical transmission.

Which occurs from mother to piglet, although in this case the symptoms are demonstrated in the bait. Therefore, cleaning in maternity hospitals is key to reducing infection pressure.

Furthermore, rodents have been shown to be a very important route of transmission of the disease, as well as inanimate fomites such as boots, utensils, which come into contact with contaminated feces.

There is very little knowledge about the resistance of the bacteria to the environment and its ability to spread; in fact, in several eradication attempts on farms, the disease has returned in the following 12 to 24 months.


The clinical signs of the chronic form and subclinical form of PI often go unnoticed by the producer, resulting in significant economic losses due to reduced growth speed and negative impact on feed conversion ratio. Therefore, when there are animals with signs of wasting or growth retardation due to the presence of anorexia and diarrhoea within an unequal batch of animals, the veterinarian must carry out a careful inspection followed by collecting samples to confirm the disease in the animal. laboratory. Additionally, a detailed examination of post-weaning pig records should be performed to detect production performance problems.

– Clinical diagnosis: through production data and the necropsy of animals that have died, the disease can be intuited.

– Laboratory diagnosis: through the use of histopathology on intestine samples, PCR on feces and serology to understand the dynamics of infection.


The remedy, as always, involves a combination of effective resources, always taking into account the policy of prudent use of antibiotics, therefore, antibiotics should remain as a secondary strategy, only for the control of acute outbreaks. In the case of resorting to antimicrobials, to start treatment we must know the antibiotic sensitivity.

The most common alternative measures are:

1) Use of natural additives with antibacterial action that help reduce the pathogenic bacterial population by promoting the growth of beneficial flora.

For this reason, at Biocidas ZIX we offer Dysanzix®, the natural solution that combats the pathogenic bacteria Lawsonia Intracellularis, also favors the balance of the microbiota and combats these bacteria without making them resistant. Dysanzix® is a combination of plant extracts that present complex and synergistic mechanisms of action, guaranteeing its effectiveness and without causing adverse effects on the microbiota of the gastrointestinal tract. The essential oils present in Dysanzix® have an effect on the structure of the bacterial cell wall, denaturing the proteins, altering the permeability of the cytoplasmic membrane, causing the interruption of the vital processes of the bacteria and its death.

– Promotes the balance of the intestinal microbiota.

– Regulates the balance of potentially pathogenic bacteria.

– Combination of phytobiotic products. 100% natural.

– Maintains the health of the digestive system.

– Regulates the balance of the microbiome, improving digestive physiology.

– Improves productive parameters.

– Reduces the use of antibiotics.

2) Key biosafety plans in the biocontainment of the IP.

a. Cleaning and disinfection plan: elimination of organic matter, cleaning with water, use of soaps, rinsing and disinfection. Cleanzix® Foam, Zixvirox®, Virox®.

b. Rodent and bird control plan, preventing their access to the warehouses, avoiding the construction of burrows or eliminating the options to do so. Include anti-bird fabrics to prevent bird access to internal animals.

c. All in – All out, it is very important not to mix batches of animals of different ages and to be able to isolate sick pigs and the pens in which they are located.

3) Design of appropriate nutrition to solve the problem, which is generally based on improving the digestibility of raw materials.

Perhaps the PI does not have the prominence that Porcine Dysentery (PD) has, and in many cases the protagonism is even taken by the PD even though the cause is the PI. All farms vulnerable to its devastating effects. Preventive and corrective measures are our greatest allies. To achieve PI-free farms we must follow the previous recommendations exhaustively, with the use of natural alternatives to antibiotics, biosecurity plans, cleaning and DDD being the keys to success. Any failure in the plan can lead to the re-entry of the disease. 

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