The Disease

History and Etiology of ileitis

L. intracellularis is a gram-negative rod with a sigmoid or curved shape and with a single long flagellum.
Among all the serological tests developed so far, only blocking ELISA is commercially available globally.


Porcine proliferative enteropathy (PPE), also known as ileitis, is an infectious enteric disease caused by the obligate intracellular bacterium Lawsonia intracellularis. The forms of presentation of the disease in pigs are haemorrhagic or acute, chronic and subclinical. As the most prevalent and economically important enteric disease in growing finishing animals, it deserves frequent updating regarding its general aspects and updates.

“Ileitis is an example of a disease that you must learn how to live with”.

As a result, the intention of this series of articles about the disease is to remind the reader about the relevance of  its adequate understanding and, consequently, efficient control for improving herd performance.

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Not much is known about the epidemiology of L. Intracellularis.

Epidemiology of ileitis

L. Intracellularis has specific infectious mechanisms, and generally appears in the growing and finishing stages.

Pathogenesis of L. Intracellularis

The symptoms of ileitis in pigs are diverse, and include hemorrhagic or acute, chronic and subclinical.

Clinical signs and forms of ileitis

Diagnosing ileitis involves considering four important factors

Diagnosis of ileitis

Ileitis outbreaks must be treated immediately to reduce losses

Treatment of ileitis

The best preventative option for ileitis depends on the specific farm

Prevention of ileitis

The indications are that nearly all pig populations are susceptible to Lawsonia Intracellularis

Prevalence of ileitis

The ban on antimicrobial growth promoters in the EU affected the kinetics of the infection in different pig diseases

Potential impact of the reduction of antibiotics

Economic impact results mostly from productivity losses caused by the disease