Mycobacterium bovis detection in slaughtered pigs in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil




Pigs, Tuberculosis, Slaughterhouse


The infection by the Mycobacterium genus is important in pig farming due to the economic losses caused by total or partial carcass condemnation in slaughterhouses. The present study investigated the occurrence of a tuberculosis outbreak in pigs, based on the identification of lesions at the slaughter line of a slaughterhouse. At the inspection line of the slaughterhouse, carcasses were identified with viscera containing macroscopic lesions that indicated tuberculosis (granulomatous lymphadenitis). Tracheobronchial, mesenteric, and submandibular lymph nodes were collected, as well as liver samples and their corresponding lymph nodes. The samples were sent to the Federal Agricultural Defense Laboratory (LFDA/RS) and processed for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and the molecular characterization of Mycobacterium bovis. Based on the results of post-mortem and laboratory inspections, the occurrence was characterized as a tuberculosis outbreak in pigs, which originated from a farm in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Over three months, three batches, adding up to 2884 animals, were sent to slaughter, of which 102 (3.5%) had tuberculosis-like lesions at the inspection line. Based on these results, the productive process was investigated, assessing the feeding, water supply, and milk whey offered in the diet of pigs. It was concluded that the outbreak was caused by feeding unpasteurized or inadequately pasteurized (insufficient time x temperature relation) whey to the pigs. The use of whey from cheese production is a frequent practice in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and one of the risk factors for granulomatous lymphadenitis in pigs.


Download data is not yet available.


AMARAL, A.L., et al. Fatores de risco associados à ocorrência de linfadenite em suínos na fase de crescimento e terminação. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira. 2004, 24(3), 120-122.

ANDREZZA, D., et al. Caracterização histológica e imuno-histoquímica das lesões de tuberculose em bovinos e de linfadenite granulomatosa em suínos. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira. 2015, 35(2), 129-136.

BAILEY, S.S., et al. Mycobacterium bovis infection in domestic pigs in Great Britain. Veterinary Journal. 2013, 198(2), 391-397.

BARANDIARAN, S., et al. Tuberculosis in swine co-infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. Hominissuis and Mycobacterium bovis in a cluster from Argentina. Epidemiology and Infection. 2015, 143(3), 966-974.

BROUGHAN, J.M., et al. Mycobacterium bovis infections in domesticated non-bovine mammalian species. Part 1: Review of epidemiology and laboratory submissions in Great Britain 2004–2010. The Veterinary Journal. 2013, 198(2), 339-345.

COUSINS, D.V. Mycobacterium bovis infection and control in domestic livestock. Revue Scientifique et Technique (International Office off Epizotics). 2001, 20(1), 71-85.

DOMINGO, M., et al. Pathology of bovine tuberculosis. Research in Veterinary Science. 2014, 97(supplement), 20–29.

HERENDA, D., et al. Manual on meat inspection for developing countries, Rome: FAO. 2000. Available from:

HOLKE, T.M., et al. Evidence of increasing and inter-species transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in South Africa: Are we losing the battle? Preventive Medicine Veterinary. 2014, 115(1-2), 10-17.

KICH, J.D., MORÉS, N. and SILVA, V.S., 2011. Ações de pesquisa promovem a segurança dos alimentos. In: SOUZA, J.C.P.V.B., et al. (eds.). Sonho, desafio e tecnologia: 35 anos de contribuições da Embrapa Suínos e Aves. Concórdia: Embrapa Suínos e Aves, pp. 255-270.

LIPIEC, M., RADULKI, L. and SZULOWSKI, K. A case of bovine tuberculosis in pigs in Poland – a country free from the disease. Annals of Agriculture and Environmental Medicine. 2019, 26(1), 29-32.

MOHAMED, A.M., EL-ELLA, G.A.A. and NASR, E.A. Phenotypic and molecular typing of tuberculous and nontuberculous Mycobacterium species from slaughtered pigs in Egypt. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 2009, 21(1), 48-52.

MUWONGE, A., et al. Mycobacterium bovis infections in slaughter pigs in Mubende district, Uganda: a public health concern. BMC Veterinary Research. 2012, 8(1), 168.

O'REILLY, L.M. and DABORN, C.J. The epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis infections in animals and man: a review. Tubercle and Lung Disease. 1995, 76(Suppl. 1), 1-46.

PINTO, P.S.A. Atualização em controle da tuberculose no contexto da inspeção de carnes. Bioscience Journal. 2003, 19(1), 115-121.

SALES, E.B., et al., 2009. Diagnóstico e caracterização molecular de Mycobacterium bovis em suínos. In: Congresso Brasileiro de Microbiologia, Porto de Galinhas. Available from:

SCHWARZ, P., et al. Ocorrência de tuberculose causada pelo complexo Mycobacterium tuberculosis em uma criação de suínos. Acta Scientiae Veterinariae. 2002, 30(3), 197-200.

SILVA, V.S., et al. Dinâmica da infecção causada por Mycobacterium avium em suínos: avaliação do critério de julgamento e destino das carcaças acometidas. Comunicado Técnico Embrapa. 2002, 213. Available from:

THOEN, C.H., et al. Tuberculosis: a re-emerging disease in animals and humans. Veterinaria Italiana. 2009, 45(1), 135-181.




How to Cite

KERN, P.L., PINTO, A.T. and SCHMIDT, V., 2021. Mycobacterium bovis detection in slaughtered pigs in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Bioscience Journal [online], vol. 37, pp. e37063. [Accessed25 February 2024]. DOI 10.14393/BJ-v37n0a2021-41762. Available from:



Agricultural Sciences