Validation of lameness and joint inflammatory response biomarkers in growing pigs
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Lameness is a significant animal welfare and production issue in commercial pig farming, characterised by deviation from normal gait/posture which may indicate pain/discomfort when standing/walking. Degenerative joint disease, which includes osteochondrosis (OC), is a major cause of lameness in growing pigs as well as a predisposing factor for further locomotor problems later in life. OC arises from the degenerative failure of cartilage formation in young animals. Presently the incidence and severity of OC lesions can only be reliably confirmed by post-mortem examination, which is costly and results in the loss of breeding animals. Serum biomarkers of cartilage synthesis and degradation, respectively collagen II propeptide (CP-II) and collagen II cleavage product (C2C), have been validated in human joint disease, as well as cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6), an inflammatory response biomarker. Therefore this project aimed to validate the use of selected behavioural, clinical and molecular biomarkers as indicators of OC severity and associated pain in growing pigs.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
Universities Federation of Animal Welfare Conference: Recent advances in animal welfare science V, York, UK