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Linda Peeters gains doctorate in salmonella research


“The chain is only as strong as the weakest link,” were the concluding words of our colleague Linda Peeters’ doctoral invitation. She gained her doctorate at the University of Ghent on Tuesday, thanks to her thesis ‘On-farm control measures against Salmonella Typhimurium infections in pigs – focus on vaccination with an attenuated vaccine and the application of probiotic feed additive’. GD would like to congratulate Linda with these fantastic results!

The research
Salmonella Typhimurium infections in pigs form an important risk for human salmonellosis. It is assumed that most human salmonella infections are food related; this is proof of the importance of food safety of pork products. According to the ‘from farm to fork’ or ‘production to consumption’ model, all links in the pig production chain (including the pig farm, abattoir, retail and consumer kitchen) must be taken into consideration in order to reduce the potential risk of salmonella. In her thesis, Linda focused on vaccination using an attenuated vaccine and the application of probiotic feed additives. The objective was to provide scientific proof that could be used to optimise the control of Salmonella Typhimurium infections at the farm level.

The thesis provided proof that vaccination using an attenuated Salmonella Typhimurium vaccine can contribute to controlling Salmonella Typhimurium Infections at subclinically infected farms. Vaccination of sows and piglets is preferable in order to reduce the percentage of Salmonella Typhimurium field strain-positive lymph nodes upon slaughter. This vaccination schedule offers future perspective, for example for further research in large-scale field studies in which all sows, gilts and piglets at a pig farm are vaccinated.
The efficacy of applying the Clostridium butyricum probiotic as a feed additive in order to reduce Salmonella Typhimurium infections in pigs under field conditions, is unclear, according to the results of the experimental study conducted as part of the thesis, and the available literature. Further research is required under field conditions. Would you be interested in reading the complete thesis? Please send an email to redactie@gddiergezondheid.nl.

Linda Peeters

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