Publish Date: December 6, 2021
The bacteria, Streptococcus suis (S. suis) causes significant disease in swine operations worldwide. In fact, it is now the most common cause of systemic disease in nursery piglets. Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in S. suis cases recently, mainly in herds who have reduced and/or eliminated the use of preventive medications (Poeta Silva, 2021). S. suis colonizes the tonsils of most pigs and is capable of causing disease in the brain via meningitis (brain barrier inflammation) and through septicemia (bloodstream infection), thus reaching other organs. While S. suis is most often associated with meningitis, other manifestations include arthritis, polyserositis (widespread membrane inflammation), endocarditis (heart valve inflammation) and, as a secondary cause, pneumonia (lung inflammation). S. suis is also a zoonotic agent able to cause serious disease (mostly meningitis) in people working with pigs or pork-derived products.