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A systematic literature mapping and meta-analysis of animal-based traits as indicators of production diseases in pigs

Lookup NU author(s): Sophia Stavrakakis, Dr Panagiotis Sakkas, Professor Ilias Kyriazakis, Dr Gavin Stewart


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© The Animal Consortium 2018. The choice of animal-based traits to identify and deal with production diseases is often a challenge for pig farmers, researchers and other related professionals. This systematic review focused on production diseases, that is, the diseases that arise from management practices, affecting the digestive, locomotory and respiratory system of pigs. The aim was to classify all traits that have been measured and conduct a meta-analysis to quantify the impact of diseases on these traits so that these can be used as indicators for intervention. Data were extracted from 67 peer-reviewed publications selected from 2339 records. Traits were classified as productive (performance and carcass composition), behavioural, biochemical and molecular traits. A meta-analysis based on mixed models was performed on traits assessed more than five times across studies, using the package metafor of the R software. A total of 524 unique traits were recorded 1 to 31 times in a variety of sample material including blood, muscle, articular cartilage, bone or at the level of whole animal. No behavioural traits were recorded from the included experiments. Only 14 traits were measured on more than five occasions across studies. Traits within the biochemical, molecular and productive trait groups were reported most frequently in the published literature and were most affected by production diseases; among these were some cytokines (interleukin (IL) 1-β, IL6, IL8 and tumour necrosis factor-α), acute phase proteins (haptoglobin) and daily weight gain. Quantification of the influence of factors relating to animal characteristics or husbandry practices was not possible, due to the low frequency of reporting throughout the literature. To conclude, this study has permitted a holistic assessment of traits measured in the published literature to study production diseases occurring in various stages of the production cycle of pigs. It shows the lack of consensus and common measurements of traits to characterise production diseases within the scientific literature. Specific traits, most of them relating to performance characteristics or immunological response of pigs, are proposed for further study as potential tools for the prognosis and study of production diseases.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Stavrakakis S, Loisel F, Sakkas P, Le Floc'H N, Kyriazakis I, Stewart G, Montagne L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Animal

Year: 2019

Volume: 13

Issue: 7

Pages: 1508-1518

Print publication date: 01/07/2019

Online publication date: 30/10/2018

Acceptance date: 20/09/2018

ISSN (print): 1751-7311

ISSN (electronic): 1751-732X

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1751731118002719


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