Evaluation of homeopathic treatment of Escherichia coli infected swine with indetification of virulence factors involved: Pilot study
Keywords: Swine diarrhea, piglets, E. coli, homeopathy, biotherapy, PCR
AbstractAim: To evaluate the efficacy of prophylactic homeopathic treatment of swine diarrhea to achieve a satisfactory balance between weight gain and cost. Methods: Escherichia coli (E. coli) was isolated from 4 piglets with diarrhea, their clinical signs were used to select the adequate homeopathic medicine China officinalis (Chin). Newborn piglets were divided in 4 groups (n=11 or 12): control group treated with the routinely used antimicrobial agent (ceftiofur 4 mg 1 ml/piglet for 3 days); one group with homeopathic medicine Chin 30 cH; one group treated with biotherapy prepared from locally isolated E. coli; and one group was treated with association of Chin and biotherapy. All isolated samples of E. coli were subjected to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to identify virulence factors in each group. Results:There was no difference in the number of animals with diarrhea between groups treated with homeopathic medicine and control; weight gain was greater in groups treated with homeopathic medicine alone and associated with biotherapy compared to control (p<0.05). Cost of homeopathic treatment was lower compared to ceftiofur. Only one E. coli sample used to prepare biotherapy medicine tested positive for virulence factors (F41); 3 samples from the Chin treated group tested positive for Stb enterotoxins; 1 sample from the homeopathic medicine plus biotherapy treated group and 1 sample from the biotherapy treated group tested positive for F41; 2 samples from the control group tested positive for F41. Conclusion: Strain variability was too large in PCR to allow for any conclusion; despite feces tested positive for E. coli, weight gain of piglets was greater in groups with homeopathic treatment that thus can be rated more effective in newborn piglets diarrhea. Statement of conflict of interest: Authors declares there is no conflict of interest in this study. Statement of financial support: Authors declare they had full access to all the data in this study and they take complete responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.