The importance of subcutaneous abscess infection by Pasteurella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus as a cause of meat condemnation in slaughtered commercial rabbits

A. Ferreira, J.M. Monteiro, M. Vieira-Pinto


Subcutaneous abscesses are lesions frequently reported in commercial rabbits. Both at farm and slaughterhouse level, these lesions are responsible for economic losses and a potential decrease in meat quality. The present study was devised to identify the main causes of meat condemnation in slaughtered commercial rabbits and assess the importance of abscess lesions in this domain. For these purposes, 281423 rabbits were evaluated during meat inspection at the slaughterhouse. The results achieved showed that subcutaneous abscesses were the major cause of condemnation, being responsible for the rejection of 1355 (0.48%) rabbit carcasses. The main affected area was the hind limbs (31.37%), followed by the cervical area (23.10%). Microbiological analyses of 27 abscess samples indicated Pasteurella spp. as the bacteria mostly isolated (59.3%), followed by Staphylococcus aureus (25.9%). These results enable us to advise the industry on the significance of abscesses as an important cause of economic losses, due to meat condemnation during post mortem inspection, and highlight the importance of implementing monitoring plans as a way to control this pathological problem.


abscess; rabbit; meat condemnation; S. aureus; Pasteurella spp.

Full Text:



Antia R.E., Alonge, D.O. 1982. Survey of abattoir data in Southern Nigeria. Trop. Anim. Health Prod., 14: 119-120. doi:10.1007/BF02282595

Badiola J.I. 2000. Aparato respiratorio: Pasteurelosis. In: Rosell J.M. (ed.), Enfermedades del conejo, Ediciones Mundi-Prensa, Madrid, Spain, 275-288.

Boucher S., Nouaille L. 1996. Maladies des Lapins, França, Éditions France Agricole, 1-255

Corpa J.M., Hermans K., Haesebrouck F. 2009. Main pathologies associated with Staphylococcus aureus infections in rabbits: A review. World Rabbit Sci., 17: 115-125. doi:10.4995/wrs.2009.651

Coudert P., Rideaud P., Virag G., Cerrone A. 2006. Pasteurellosis in rabbits. In: Maertens L., Coudert P. (ed.). Recent Advances in Rabbit Sciences, Belgium, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, 147-12.

EFSA. 2005. The impact of the current housing and husbandry systems on the health and welfare of farmed domestic rabbits. EFSA J., 267: 1-31.

EC Council. 2004. Regulation laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption. No. 854/2004/EC, 29 April 2004. Off. J. Eur. Comm., 25 June, 2004, L226, 83-127.

Ferrian S., Guerrero L., Penadés M., Viana D., Corpa J.M., Selva L. 2010. Cómo se transmiten las enfermedades en conejos y qué podemos hacer para evitarlo. Revista de Cunicultura, June, 25-29.

García B.M. 2003. Higiene e inspección de la carne de conejo y de caza de cría o granja. In: Garcia B.M. (ed.), Higiene e inspeccion de carnes, Ediciones Diaz de Santos, SA, Spain, 441-454.

Hermans K., Devriere L.A., Haesebrouck F. 2003. Rabbit Staphylococcosis: Difficult Solutions for Serious Problems. Vet. Microbiol., 91: 57-64. doi:10.1016/S0378-1135(02)00260-2

Hernández P. 2012. Carne de conejo como alimento funcional. Revista científica de nutrición, June, 19.

INE. 2013. Coelhos abatidos e aprovados para consumo 2001-2010. Instituto Nacional de Estatística Available at: Accessed January 2013.

Kofer J., Kutschera G., Fuchs K. 2001. Monitoring of animal health at abattoirs. Fleischwirtschaft, 81: 107-111.

Menes I., García M.L., Moreno B., Gutiérrez L., Polledo J.J., 1984. Staphylococci isolated from abscesses in slaughtered animals: characterization and epidemiological studies. Zentralbl. Bakterio. Mikrobiol. Hyg. B. 178: 551-61.

Murray P.R., Baron, E.J., Pfaller M.A., Tenover F.C., Yolken R.H.1999. Manual of Clinical Microbiology, 7th ed. American Society for Microbiology, Washington, D.C. USA.

Okerman L. 1988. Diseases of Domestic rabbits, Blackwell Scientific Publications, London, UK, 1-119.

Rampin F., Piccirillo A., Schiavon E., Poppi L.,Grilli G., 2008. Detection of Pathological Lesions in Slaughtered Rabbits. Ital. J. Anim. Sci., 7, 105-111.

Rosell J.M. 2000. Aparato respiratorio: Introducción. In: Rosell J.M. (ed.), Enfermedades del conejo, Ediciones Mundi-Prensa, Madrid, Spain, 267-268.

Rosell J.M., Dronda M.Á., Fuente L.F. 2000. Dermatologia. In: Rosell J.M. (ed.), Enfermedades del conejo, Ediciones Mundi-Prensa, Madrid, Spain, 354-396.

Tantiñà M., Rosell J.M., Facchin E., 2000. Salud pública. In: Rosell J.M. (ed.), Enfermedades del conejo, Ediciones Mundi-Prensa, Madrid, Spain, 465-513.

Tirpude R.J. Batra H.V. 2012. Characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from acute, sub-acute and sub-clinical staphylococcosis in rabbits. World Rabbit Sci., 20: 215-221. doi:10.4995/wrs.2012.1203

Vancraeynest D., Haesebrouck F., Deplano D., Denis O., Godard C., Wildemauwe C., Hermans K. 2006. International dissemination of a high virulence rabbit Staphylococcus aureus clone. J. Vet. Med. B. 53: 418-422. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0450.2006.00977.x

Vecerck V., Kozak A., Malena M., Tremlova, B., Chloupek P. 2003. Veterinary meat inspection of bovine carcasses in the Czech Republic during the period of 1995–2002. Vet. Med. Czech, 48: 183-189.

Xiccato G., Trocino A. 2007. Italy, system of integrated rabbit production. In Proc.: II Congresso Ibérico Cunicultura, 5-6 June, 2007. Vila Real, Portugal. 175-184.

Abstract Views

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Cited-By (articles included in Crossref)

This journal is a Crossref Cited-by Linking member. This list shows the references that citing the article automatically, if there are. For more information about the system please visit Crossref site

1. Production of Specific IgY Staphylococcus aureus Origin from Staphylococcosis Case in Rabbits
Triwardhani Cahyaningsih, Fachriyan Hasmi Pasaribu, Agustin Indrawati
Jurnal Ilmu Pertanian Indonesia  vol: 22  issue: 1  first page: 1  year: 2017  
doi: 10.18343/jipi.22.1.1

 Universitat Politècnica de València

Official journal of the World Rabbit Science Association (WRSA)

e-ISSN: 1989-8886     ISSN: 1257-5011