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United Kingdom


(the cause of glässers disease)

Group of pigs


Glässers Disease is a caused by the bacterium Haemophilus parasuis. The bacterium resides in the nasal cavity of most pigs, normally without causing any problems. However, if the pigs become stressed then the bacteria will cause disease. Glässers Disease is a form of blood poisoning, or septicaemia, and ultimately targets the pigs’ serosal membranes (the lining of the chest, abdomen, brain cavity, heart sac and joints) causing massive damage. Outbreaks of Glässers result in high mortality, if complicated by other diseases mortality can reach 15%.

Glässers Disease typically presents as outbreaks of sudden deaths. Classically these occur after cold nights following mild days e.g. temperature stress; however, it may also be seen after other stressors such as another disease outbreak. Pigs found alive affected by Glässers will appear extremely ill, will be struggling to breathe and often have purple extremities, they may also be displaying nervous symptoms. Mildly affected pigs may present with coughing and swollen joints. Glässers Disease can affect pig of any age, but is mostly seen in weaners or growers.