Cystitis: significant associations between pathology, histology, and quantitative bacteriology in sows, a cross-sectional study

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Background: The importance of cystitis in pig production is controversial and sparse information is available on its frequency and etiology in sows. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of bacteriuria, macroscopical and histological lesions of the urinary bladder in culled sows. Urinary bladders and urine samples were obtained from 176 culled sows at slaughter. The urine samples collected by cystocentesis were analyzed to determine bacterial content and pathological findings, macroscopic as well as microscopic, of the bladder were recorded for each sow. Results: The prevalence of bacteriuria, defined by bacterial concentrations ≥ 103 colony forming units per mL of urine, was 34%. Escherichia coli was isolated from 69% of the samples with bacteriuria. Redness of the mucosa was the most frequently observed macroscopic change of the bladder. Intense redness and presence of pus was considered significant pathological changes and occurred in 27% of the urinary bladders. The histopathological examination showed that mononuclear cells were the predominant type of cell infiltration in the bladder mucosa, while neutrophils occurred in very few samples. The criteria for cystitis determined by histopathology were met in 46% of the samples. The criteria were based on presence of hyperemia, edema, and inflammatory cell reaction defined as 40 or more neutrophils or mononuclear cells per high power field. All three indicators of cystitis were significantly associated with each other (p < 0.05) at sow level. Conclusion: This study shows that signs of cystitis are common in culled sows. The prevalence of cystitis was 34% based on bacteriological examination, 27% based on macroscopic examination and 46% based on histological examination. Significant associations were found between the three indicators of cystitis: bacteriuria, pathological and histological lesions of the bladder. Based on macroscopic changes and histopathology of the bladder, the cut-off of ≥ 103 colony forming units per mL of urine seems to be appropriate for assessing urine cultures obtained by cystocentesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalPorcine Health Management
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023, BioMed Central Ltd., part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Bacteriuria, Cystitis, E. coli, Histopathology, Pathology, Porcine, Sows, Urinary tract infections

ID: 369293428