Bowel Oedema


Causal agent

Escherichia coli with the STx2e toxin. Normally associated with the F18 (rarely F4) fimbriae attachments. The E. coli is β haemolytic.

Age group

2 weeks post-weaning

Clinical signs

Sudden death 2 weeks post-weaning.

Pigs present with diarrhoea and neurological signs

Leg paralysis, splaying, staggering, circuling and severe ataxia

Swollen eyelids

oEdema disease 03sw

Ecoli bowel oedema eyes

Dying weaner with swollen eyelids.


From pig to pig faecal oral route

Post-mortem lesions

Oedema of the mesocolon, stomach, eyelids and forehead

The Stx2e toxin is a vasotoxin causing microangiopathy leakage of the capillary vessels. This leads to oedema. The blood pressure increases to 20 mm Hg resulting in oedema of the brain and neurological signs.

Intestines bowl oedema

Oedema in the loops of the spiral colon


Isolation of the F18 antigen and the STx2e toxin.


Affected litters

Acidify the water supply with 22g citric acid per litre drinking water for the first 21 days post-weaning

Zinc Oxide at 2300g/tonne. Ensure dosage is accurate.

Antibiotics where possible.


Thoughly clean between batches

Minimise utensil spread


Sow vaccination will not prevent bowel oedema

Vaccinate with the non toxigenic F18 at weaning, one week post-weaning and 4 weeks post-weaning through the water supply.


Possible to use resistant pigs recessive gene

Change boar line and possibly sow line.

Common differentials

Meningitis associated with Streptococci or Haemophilus parasuis.