Edema Disease (ED) is a mostly acute, often fatal, enterotoxemia. The mainly affected production stages are recently weaned pigs, pigs during nursery and younger finishing pigs. It´s caused by Shigatoxin (Stx2e), which is produced by specific virotypes of Escherichia coli (E. coli).
The disease is characterized by edema at specific sites, sudden unexpected death, and also by neurologic signs which are related to lesions in the brain.
While the Shigatoxin (Stx2e) encoding E. coli occur worldwide, prevalence data particularly from healthy herds are rarely available. Nevertheless, a recently published longitudinal study in three US farms with healthy pigs observed a high prevalence (68.3%) of Shigatoxin-encoding Escherichia coli (STEC) in pigs raised for pork production. The usual detection rate of Stx2e in cases with clinical signs suspicious for ED is around 20% up to 60%.