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The development of the Swine sector causes an increase in the concentration of large-volume pig farms, an increase in the density of the pig population in certain markets and regions and, consequently, the existence of a large traffic of vehicles and people between centres of production. We all know the positive impact, but this situation also has as a direct consequence, an increase in pathological problems. On many occasions you have to deal with new diseases or already known diseases that have reappeared.

Several of these problems have complicated the positive impact that the professionalization and development of the sector has brought. Some of the pathologies have been controlled or eradicated thanks to the tireless work of the entire production chain, but unfortunately, many other pathologies have not yet been overcome and continue to require a lot of effort on our part.

Sector greatest threats

Currently, there are several pathological entities in the pig sector, on the one hand, we have PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), causing each time more devastating effects with its new strains, much more virulent than its predecessors, affecting to sows farms, weaning and even fattening. On the other hand, we cannot forget another of the sector’s enemies, ASF (African Swine Fever), which also causes serious socioeconomic consequences in the affected countries.

All of this makes us reflect that the risk of entry and spread of these diseases is very high and we must increase the alert level and, consequently, the control measures (cleaning and disinfection) to avoid the feared entry of diseases.

What is the solution?

The remedy has biosecurity as a fundamental pillar, we must continue to improve and follow an exquisite compliance with biosecurity measures to prevent the arrival and / or expansion of diseases that can enter the geographical area, farm or warehouse. Within all biosecurity measures, we highlight cleaning and disinfection as key measures.

What is the current situation in the farm?

Cleaning and disinfection are key factors, general cleaning with detergent and the backpack or disinfection nebulizers prepared with a broad-spectrum active disinfectant are the essential tools for fighting diseases. But, if we look deep into the analysis of our preparation and the situation of both farms and transport vehicles, the reality is different. The collaborators of this article carried out two studies.


transportSTUDY 1. Qualitative analysis of preparation / control of farms and quantitative analysis of contamination of transport vehicles.

Analysis 1 (qualitative): Preparation and control for the disinfection of farms.


This first study aims to know the current situation of preparation and control for the disinfection of places such as farms, to determine if the current cleaning and disinfection operations are being effective.

Sampling locations:

50 Pig farms (sows, fattening and weaning)


Analysed elements:

  • Disinfection backpacks prepared with disinfectant (existence or not)
  • Activity of the disinfectant inside the backpacks (active disinfectant or not)
  • Disinfection prior to the entry of the vehicles that access the farms (performing the disinfection or not)

Results of analysis 1:

  • transport40% of the total disinfection backpacks reviewed were empty.
  • From 60% of the backpacks which were full with soluction, 55% had not changed the disinfectant during the last week, the disinfectant was not in optimal conditions for its purpose.
  • Only 33% of all backpacks tested were ready to fulfill their mission.

Regarding the external vehicles that enter the facilities daily (cars, vans and transport trucks), the data was also worrying, since we were able to verify that:

  • 95% of farms agreed that vehicles entering their facility were not disinfected.
Analysis 2 (quantitative): Contaminated transport vehicles.

transportWe also wanted to check the contamination of the trucks leaving the disinfection centers, entrances to slaughterhouses and entrances to farms, which access these places after disinfection. With this analysis, we wanted to review the quality of the disinfections carried out and the  existing risk, checking these in different places. For this, microbiological analyzes of the animal transport vehicles were carried out in 3 different places.

Sampling locations:

  • 4 Slaughterhouses (entrance)
  • 4 Disinfection buildings (exit)
  • 50 Farms (entrance)

Analyzed elements:

  • 63 Swine transport trucks, of which 21 tests were carried out at the exit of the disinfection centers. 21 at the exit of the slaughterhouses and 21 at the entrance of the farms.
  • Truck lift platform.
  • Truck box beginning.
  • Truck box end.

Analysis method:

ATP Checking (Adenosine Triphosphate of Adenosine)

Samples taken methodology:

Collection of the sample on a surface of 33 cm² with sponges to carry out cultures of enterorobacteria.

Results classification:

RResults are expressed in CFU (Colony Forming Units) per cm²:

  • CFU/ cm² 0-100: correct disinfection.

  • CFU/ cm² 101-200: insufficient disinfection.

  • CFU/ cm² 201-500: poor disinfection.

  • CFU/ cm² 501->1000: very bad disinfection.

Results of analysis 2:

Of a total of 63 trucks analysed, only 4.67% of the cases achieved correct disinfection (UFC/ cm² 0-100). The rest of the analyzes showed bad (UFC/ cm² 201-500) or insufficient (UFC/ cm² 101-200) disinfection values.


The current biosecurity plan of the studied farms has deficiencies that pose a significant security risk.

95.33% of the trucks analyzed, and previously disinfected, were contaminated with bad values ??UFC/ cm² 201-500 and UFC/ cm² 101-200.

transportSTUDY 2: Analysis of the main disinfection of transport trucks carried out in the centers and protocol for the 2nd disinfection by nebulization with Zix Virox.


Given the results obtained in the first experimental study, the need arises to develop a complementary action protocol to reinforce biosecurity in pig transport, which ensures adequate disinfection.

This second study aims to reinforce and ensure correct disinfection of the transport trucks under analysis, through the development of an adequate disinfection protocol.

transportThe study was carried out by the Girona Pig Sanitation Group (GSP) in collaboration with Biocidas Zix, and consisted of developing a second disinfection protocol by nebulization with Zix Virox, and comparing its effectiveness with other current disinfection protocols used in the farms.

Sampling location:

Pig farm with disinfection centre.

Analyzed elements:

transportTruck elements:

  • Truck lift platform.
  • Truck box beginning.
  • Truck box end.



Disinfection techniques:

transportTechnique 1:

Form of application: Disinfection by soaking carried out by means of a hose with disinfectant under pressure (already carried out in the disinfection centers).

Disinfectant A: Generic disinfectant, used in cleaning and disinfection centers. Composition: Glutaraldehyde 15.00% and Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride 10.00%.

Composition: Glutaraldehyde 15.00% and Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride 10.00%.

Dose: Diluted at 6%.

Disinfectant contact time: 48 hours.


Technique 2:

Form of application: Disinfection by nebulization/spray.

Disinfectant B: Zix Virox.

Composition: 25% hydrogen peroxide, 5% peracetic acid.

Dose: Diluted at 2%.

Disinfectant contact time: 5 minutes.

Samples taken methodology:

Collection of the sample on a surface of 33 cm² with sponges to carry out cultures of enterorobacteria.

Samples are taken and analyzes are carried out for each of the three elements (Elevating platform, start of box, end of box), and for each of the disinfection techniques. An initial analysis is also carried out, of the elements without disinfection. Therefore, the analyzes are summarized in 3 different situations, which make it possible to compare the different disinfection techniques used:

transportInitial situation: Contamination values ??are analyzed in the clean and non-disinfected elements. In this way the starting numerical values ??are known. The contamination values ??show data above 3000 UFC/cm².


transportSituation 2: Items cleaned and previously disinfected with technique 1 and disinfectant A (with glutaraldehyde and ammonium base)


transportSituation 3: Elements (lift platform, truck box beginning, truck box end) previously cleaned and disinfected with technique 2 and disinfectant B (Zix Virox).

Analysis method:

ATP Checking (Adenosine Triphosphate of Adenosine)


Results are expressed in CFU (Colony Forming Units) per cm².

  • CFU/ cm² 0-100: correct disinfection.
  • CFU/ cm² 101-200: insufficient disinfection.
  • CFU/ cm² 201-500: poor disinfection.
  • CFU/ cm² 501->1000: very bad disinfection.

Results with the use of technique 1 and disinfectant A at 6%:

transportThe results obtained an insufficient disinfection at the beginning of the box (UFC/ cm² 101- 200), a very bad disinfection at the end of the box (UFC/ cm² 501-1000) and a very insignificant disinfection on the lifting platform, reaching values ??above 1500 UFC/cm².

It should be noted that the work of the cleaning and disinfection process was subjectively certified as well done, although disinfecting in the wet and with a hose could dilute the disinfectant.

Results using technique 2 and Zix Virox:

Once the cleaning is done, the disinfectant is applied by nebulization at 2% on the elements of the lifting platform, beginning of the box, and end of the box. The contamination values ??of all the places analyzed reach a correct disinfection level UFC/ cm² 0-100, very close to 0.


  1. The effectiveness of the disinfection depends on the type of disinfectant, the active material, the concentration and the contact time.
  2. The application of a disinfectant does not ensure complete disinfection of surfaces.
  3. Disinfectant A based on “Glutaraldehyde 15.00% and Didecyl Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride 10.00%. At 6% concentration and used by soaking, it is not effective, despite having longer contact times (48 hours) with the surface to be disinfected.
  4. The disinfection efficacy of 2% Zix Virox is complete after nebulization for 5 minutes, therefore the combination of the Zix Virox product + nebulization is the only one that has demonstrated total disinfection in this study.

*all the data can be consulted in the study carried out, upon request to the company Biocidas Biodegradables ZIX, S.L.

Zix Virox is the broad-spectrum, highly effective, virucidal, bactericidal and fungicidal 100% biodegradable liquid disinfectant, Ecocert certified, for professional use, non-carcinogenic. In addition, it has evidence of efficacy against PRRS (0.2%) and against PPA (1%).


This experimental study shows that there is still a long way to go in improving biosecurity measures in many pig farms. There are still many farm vulnerable to the devastating effects of viruses such as ASF or PRRS. In places with large concentrations of animals, preventive measures are our greatest ally. Improving biosecurity programs is everyone’s responsibility and we can help by working from our farms to our collaborators and neighbors.

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