George Charbonneau from South West Ontario Veterinary Services, SINS : Is there a Genetic Predisposition?

Swine inflammation and necrosis syndrome (SINS) can appear in pigs in several parts of the body simultaneously. Newborns, suckling piglets and older pigs can be affected. This condition may be perceived as a welfare issue because skin lesions tend to be related to fighting and aggression between pigs.  SINS can be influenced by animal husbandry but it also appears to have a genetic component. These researchers wanted to test the effects of different boars from the Duroc and Pietrain breeds on the prevalence of swine inflammation and necrosis syndrome in their offspring. 646 suckling pigs from 39 sows (two herds) and 19 boars were made available. On the third day of life, the piglets were examined for clinical signs of inflammation and necrosis at tail base, tail tip, ears, face, teats, navel and claws.

The researchers found the following:

  • More than 70% of the piglets were affected with SINS at the tail base, ears, coronary bands and heels.
  • Bristle loss, swelling, redness, venous congestion and claw wall bleeding occurred most frequently.
  • Exudation and necrosis affected fewer piglets.
  • Offspring from Duroc boars had significantly lower SINS scores (4.87 ± 0.44) than offspring from Pietrain boars (10.13 ± 0.12).
  • Within the Pietrain breed, significant effects of the boar were observed on inflammation and necrosis levels.

Take Home Messages:

  • Between Breeds – On average, using Duroc boars instead of Pietrain boars resulted in a 59% reduction in the SINS scores of their offspring.
  • Within Breeds – The SINS score in the offspring of the most favourable Pietrain boar was almost 40% lower than that of offspring in the least favourable Pietrain boar.
  • Under the conditions of this study there appears to be a measurable genetic effect on the outcome of SINS but further studies that would replicate these findings are warranted.

Ref: Josef Kuehling , Kathrin Eisenhofer , Mirjam Lechner , Sabrina Becker , Hermann Willems , Gerald Reiner  The effects of boar on susceptibility to swine inflammation and necrosis syndrome in piglets  Porcine Health Manag . 2021 Jan 28;7(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s40813-021-00194-2.