Use of antimicrobials and its association with biosecurity in nine Finnish farrow-to-finish pig herds

Jinhyeon Yun, Johanna Muurinen, Leena Seppä-Lassila, Virpi Sali, Olli Aarno Tapio Peltoniemi, Mari Leena Heinonen

Research output: Conference materialsPosterpeer-review


The use of antimicrobials in pig production is relatively low in Finland compared with other European countries, because it is only recommended for therapeutic purposes. However, since the pigs are often treated based on the diagnosis of herd personnel, it is doubtful whether antimicrobials are being used prudently. The present study therefore investigates antimicrobial usage (AMU) administered in the Finnish pig herds, and its association with the biosecurity status of the herds, in order to identify best practices for the prudent use of antimicrobials. In total, nine farrow-to-finish pig herds in western Finland were included in the study. The number of animals were collected through the Finnish Swine Registry system. Data for the use of antimicrobials during one year before the first herd visit (1Y) were collected from the National Health Classification Registry program that provides dates and indications for treatments and types and dosages of antimicrobials used for different age groups. AMU was calculated as the amount (mg) of active substance used per population correction unit (kg) in different age categories during 1Y. The biosecurity status of the study herds were scored using the Biocheck.UGentTM. The AMU for suckling piglets was higher than those for fatteners (55 mg/kg ± 111 vs. 6 ± 5, P < 0.05), and tended to be higher than those for weaners or breeders (vs. 14 ± 24 or 17 ± 18, P < 0.10, for both). Of the total six active ingredients, Penicillin was the most commonly (65 %) used on the nine study herds, and it was most frequently used for suckling piglets during this 1Y period. AMU for weaners was correlated with internal biosecurity sub-categories, i.e. ‘cleaning and disinfection’ (n = 9, r2 = 0.71, P < 0.05). Consequently, suckling piglets is the age group with the biggest AMU compared with the other age groups in the study herds where antimicrobials are used for therapeutic purpose. It can be speculated that the need for the treatment of the pigs might be increased in the herds, if the farmers have had more opportunities to observe the health status of the pigs. However, further study will be needed to demonstrate the causal relationship between antimicrobial usage and farmers` attitude.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2018
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventInternational Conference on Antimicrobial Agents in Veterinary Medicine - Rome, Italy
Duration: 16 Oct 201819 Oct 2018


ConferenceInternational Conference on Antimicrobial Agents in Veterinary Medicine
Internet address

Fields of Science

  • 413 Veterinary science

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