Feedstuffs is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Ileitis: On the gut level

Ileitis: On the gut level
To help manage ileitis, choose a modified-live oral vaccine that protects pigs at the site of potential infection.


Sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

You diligently watch your pigs for coughing, lethargy, and a variety of other signs pointing to potential health threats. But what do you do for enteric diseases, which often don’t show clinical signs until it is nearly too late? For farmers with a fear of disease outbreak, enteric diseases can seem like a ticking time bomb.

Ileitis affects weight gain in pigs of all ages. It not only reduces the overall growth in pigs, it also makes feed conversion less efficient.

Ileitis is an enteric disease caused by Lawsonia intracellularis – a bacteria that infects the intestinal structure of swine gastrointestinal tracts. After the bacteria settles in the intestines, it starts damaging the intestinal walls, affecting the the way their body absorbs nutrients and water. This has a detrimental effect on growth.

“Since ileitis can affect between 6-20 feet of the intestinal wall, it prevents the absorption of nutrients, eventually causing a significant drop in performance if it is left untreated,” says Dr. Jessica Seate, technical manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

The bacteria can be passed from pig-to-pig when the manure of an infected pig is ingested by one of it’s pen mates. It only takes about one gram of infected fecal matter to infect another pig.

Ileitis can occur in three different stages:

  •  Subclinical ileitis, is the least destructive, and is often seen in piglets and finishing pigs. Pigs experience a slow rate in growth, have more variability of weight, and have a lower feed conversion rate.
  • Chronic Ileitis occurs with signs of diarrhea and slowed growth, but is often mistaken for other enteric diseases. Chronic ileitis is more likely to occur in younger pigs, some as early as 7 weeks of age, and as pigs grow, the disease signs can grow more severe.
  •  Acute Ileitis is most prevelant in older finishing pigs, gilt and sows. It is the most severe form and is often marked by bloody diarrhea and, in severe cases, acute mortality.

The Impact of Ileitis

Ileitis not only reduces the overall growth in pigs, it also makes feed conversion less efficient , which means more feed is needed for each pound of growth. Ileitis affects weight gain in pigs of all ages. But, the biggest impact is on pigs from late nursery through finishing, when daily weight gain is critical for optimizing growth and animal health.

“Producers need to be aware of this disease so it doesn’t start stealing profit,” Dr. Seate says. “Ileitis affected pigs cost the U.S. swine industry more than $100 million annually. With this potential for profit loss, it is best to prevent the disease rather than treat it.”

Prevention Pays

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) has shown through multiple trials and field studies that prevention pays when it comes to managing ileitis in swine herds. As the first, and only modified-live oral ileitis vaccine, Enterisol® Ileitis from BIVI, protects pigs at the site of potential infection.

“We have found that vaccination can increase growth and reduce mortality,” Seate adds. “In field trials conducted in the early 2000, we found there was more than $4 in net benefits. Converted to today’s prices we are seeing $10.33 per head profit in pigs that were vaccinated.”

 When those benefits are added into an easy to use oral administration system using the Vaccinator, which delivers the vaccine to a penload of pigs through their drinking system, the answer is obvious. Save money and keep your herd protected from ileitis by vaccinating early.

For more information on Enterisol® Ileitis, and the Vaccinator, talk to your veterinarian, your BIVI sales representative or visit http://www.bi-vetmedica.com/species/swine/products/enterisol_ileitis.html.

Ileitis: On the gut level

Click here to view the Constructing Your Ileitis Defense video.

Enterisol is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH. Ó2016 Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.