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Eric R Burrough

Eric R Burrough

  • Professor
  • Vet Diag and Production Animal Medicine
My current research projects are focused primarily on porcine enteric disease; specifically bacterial enteritis in grow-finish pigs and viral enteritis in weaned pigs. A unifying theme amongst these projects is the exploration of disease pathogenesis and the associated impact on intestinal function and repair and on lean tissue accretion. Enteritis in growing and finishing pigs is a complex and often multifactorial condition typically involving one or more of three primary bacterial pathogens: Salmonella spp., Lawsonia intracellularis, and Brachyspira spp. Additionally, mixed infections are common and further complicate the diagnostic process making improved diagnostic assays a pressing concern. In the last decade, Brachyspira spp. infections of pigs have been diagnosed with increasing frequency at the ISU VDL and, coincident with this increase, there has been an emergence of the novel species Brachyspira hampsonii as an agent of swine dysentery. Our works describing this novel agent of dysentery have been well-cited and appear in journals such as Veterinary Pathology, the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, Frontiers in Veterinary Science, and Veterinary Microbiology. I serve as Co-PI for a team of ISU researchers investigating Brachyspira infections, the role of nutrition in disease expression, and the development of improved diagnostic assays. We have an established and well-characterized swine dysentery model that we use to investigate the effects of disease on colonic epithelial cells and on intestinal nutrient transport and metabolism.

Contact Info

1911 Vet. Med. Annex
1856 Christensen Dr.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Veterinary Pathology, Iowa State University, 2011
  • Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, 2010
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 1997

More Information


VDPAM 455        Diagnostic Laboratory Practicum (VDPAM 455)
VDPAM 456        Introduction to Diagnostic Medicine
VDPAM 551        Advanced Veterinary Diagnostic Medicine (VDPAM 551)

Selected Publications:

Helm ET, Burrough ER, Leite FL, Gabler NK. Lawsonia intracellularis infected enterocytes lack sucrose-isomaltase which contributes to reduced pig digestive capacity. Vet Res 2021; 52:90.

Helm ET, Lin J-H, Gabler NK, Burrough ER. Brachyspira hyodysenteriae infection reduces digestive function but not intestinal integrity in growing pigs while disease onset can be mitigated by reducing insoluble fiber. Front Vet Sci 2020; 7:587926.

Burrough ER, De Mille C, Gabler NK. Zinc overload in weaned pigs: tissue accumulation, pathology, and growth impacts. J Vet Diagn Invest 2019; 31(4):537-545.

Card RM, La T, Burrough ER, Ellis R, Nunez-Garcia J, Thomson J, Mahu M, Phillips ND, Hampson DJ, Rohde J, Tucker AW. Weakly haemolytic variants of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae newly emerged in Europe belong to a distinct subclade with unique genetic properties. Vet Res 2019; 50:21. doi: 0.1186/s13567-019-0639-x.

Rhode J, Majzoub-Altweck M, Flakenau A, Hermanns W, Burrough ER, Ritzmann M, Stadler J. Occurrence of dysentery-like diarrhoea associated with Brachyspira suanatina infection in a German fattening pig farm. Vet Rec 2018; doi: 10.1136/vr.104705

Burrough ER, Arruda BL, Plummer PJ. Comparison of the luminal and mucosa-associated microbiota in the colon of pigs with and without swine dysentery. Front Vet Sci 2017; 4:139.

Burrough ER: Swine dysentery: etiopathogenesis and diagnosis of a re-emerging disease. Vet Pathol 2017; 54(1): 22-31.

Wilberts BL, Arruda PHE, Kinyon JM, Frana TS, Wang C, Magstadt DR, Madson DM, Patience JF, Burrough ER. Investigation of the impact of increased dietary insoluble fiber through the feeding of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) on the incidence and severity of Brachyspira-associated colitis in pigs. PLoS ONE 2014; 9(12): e114741.

Burrough ER, Wilberts BL, Bower LP, Jergens AE, Schwartz KJ. Fluorescent in situ hybridization for detection of “Brachyspira hampsonii” in porcine colonic tissues.  J Vet Diagn Invest 2013;25:407-412.

Burrough ER, Strait EL, Kinyon JM, Bower LP, Madson DM, Wilberts BL, Schwartz KJ, Frana TS, Songer JG. Comparative virulence of clinical Brachyspira spp. isolates in inoculated pigs. J Vet Diagn Invest 2012; 46:1025-1034.