Swine Erysipelas


Swine erysipelas is caused by a bacterium, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae that is found in most if not all pig farms. Up to 50 percent of animals may carry it in their tonsils. It is always present in either the swine or in the environment because it is excreted via saliva, feces or urine. It is also found in many other species, including birds and sheep and can survive outside its hosts for a few weeks and longer in light soils. Thus it is impossible to eliminate it from a herd.


Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a Gram-positive, aerobic, slightly bent, thin bacillus. It is resistant to many environmental influences and survives for long periods of time.


Three clinical forms of swine erysipelas are recognized.

  • Acute form:

Manifested as sudden death, or rapid onset of high fever of 42,5oC to 43,0oC. Clinical signs are depression and lethargy, sometimes even seizsure. The infected are reluctance to move during movement due to painful joints. Skin lesions are characterized as red-purple, square to diamond-shaped. The mortality rate in acute swine erysipelas can reach 30-40% in infected herds.

  • Sub-acute form:

Displays similar clinical signs to the acute form, but pigs are less severely affected, and the mortality rate is lower. Fevers are not as high, skin lesions are not as severe or may be absent. Incubation period last from 1 – 7 days, early symptoms can be inappetence, constipation and vomiting. After this period, in 2 – 4 days, clinical signs as mentioned above will start to show.

  • Chronic swine erysipelas:

Mild fever from 40oC to 41oC. Swine suffering from chronic erysipelas either develop arthritis or vegetative valvular endocarditis (infection of heart valve), or both. Chronic arthritis is the most economically significant manifestation of the chronic form of this disease because animals become lame, feed intake is reduced and animals lose condition. Affected joints are enlarged and firm which made movement extremely painful. Animals with vegetative valvular endocarditis may suffer from cardiac dysfunction, and develop respiratory signs due to pulmonary edema, lethargy, cyanosis (a bluish discoloration of the skin), or sudden death.


  • Hygiene prevention:

Be more attentive to the herds especially when season changes and weather changes.

If a boar has a fever (38 - 39 degrees Celsius) and shows skin lesions, treat immediately and do not use for mating for a minimum period of four weeks.

  • Vaccination:

Vaccinate in accordance to manufacturers’ instruction.

  • Preventive measures:

Frequently apply disinfectant to clean the husbandry and surrounding area.

Enhance the herds’ natural resistance, immune system by providing a full range of nutrients. Select from one the following products:

Mix one of the above products into feed every 25-30 days for a period of 4 – 5 days consecutively.


LINCOSPEC has been known for its effectiveness to treat and prevent chronic arthritis, during early symptoms, treat by subcutaneous injection, apply twice a day for 3 – 5 days consecutively. 

During treatment, it is recommended to use the following recommended products to enhance the animals’ natural resistance by supplying nutrition and relieve stress.

Know-How, Swine