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Diagnosis and control of a severe outbreak of lameness caused by Mycoplasma hyosynoviae in a closed pig unit
  1. Maria Luisa Moronato1,
  2. Martina Ustulin2,
  3. Denis Vio2,
  4. Robin A J Nicholas3 and
  5. Salvatore Catania4
  1. 1 Laboratorio di Medicina Aviare, Istituto Zooprofilaticco Sperimentale delle Venezie, Legnaro, Veneto, Italy
  2. 2 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Peripheral Diagnostic Laboratory of Pordenone, Cordenons, Italy
  3. 3 Consultant, Farnham, Surrey, UK
  4. 4 Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie, Diagnostic Service, Laboratory of Avian Medicine, Padova, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Robin A J Nicholas; robin.a.j.nicholas{at}


Mycoplasma hyosynoviae is a swine pathogen causing arthritic diseases and severe economic losses. The authors report an outbreak of severe lameness in a pig farm in northern Italy in which approximately 35% of the growing herd showed clinical signs. Lameness was not associated with fever, change in appetite or stiffness in the limbs but was mostly related to swelling of the affected joint. M hyosynoviae was cultured from joints and identified by PCR; tests failed to detect the presence of other infectious causes of arthritic diseases. Antibiotic susceptibility tests were carried out on isolates of M hyosynoviae taken from the tissues in order to guide the choice of antibiotics for treatment. In consultation with the farm’s private veterinary surgeon, this was recommended to be a combination of spectinomycin and lincomycin. However the pigs frequently relapsed indicating the need for longer-term control such as vaccination which should also reduce antibiotic usage.

  • pigs
  • mycoplasmas
  • joint diseases
  • antibiotics
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  • Contributors MLM drafted the paper and carried out the laboratory work under the direct supervision of SC who led the investigation. MU and DV carried out the clinical and postmortem examinations and interpreted the results. SC and DV provided advice on treatment to the farmer. RAJN edited and completed the final version of the paper.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement There are no additional data available for this paper.

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