Evaluation of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae diagnostic tests using samples derived from experimentally infected pigs

G. Costa, S. Oliveira, J. Torrison, S. Dee

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18 Scopus citations


New serological tests have recently been introduced for Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae diagnosis. No information is currently available on how these tests compare regarding the detection of antibodies from subclinically infected pigs. To answer this question, 80 pigs were randomly assigned to experimental groups infected with A. pleuropneumoniae serovars 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 and a non-inoculated control group. Blood samples and oropharyngeal swabs were collected prior to infection and for 7 consecutive weeks thereafter. Serum samples were tested using the Swinecheck® APP ELISA and the Multi-APP ELISA (University of Montreal). All pigs were euthanized at 49 days post-inoculation. Tonsil and lung samples were cultured for isolation and tested by PCR. The Multi-APP ELISA detected seroconversion 1 week earlier than the Swinecheck® APP ELISA with the earliest seroconversion detected at 1 week post-infection (serovar 10) and the latest at 3 weeks post-infection (serovar 1). Seroconversion at day 49 was serovar-dependent and varied from 4 (44%) positives detected in the serovar 10 group to 9 positives (100%) detected in the serovar 15 group. Thirty-one pigs were serologically positive for A. pleuropneumoniae at 49 days post-infection and only 15 still carried A. pleuropneumoniae on their tonsils based on PCR results. No cross-reactions were observed when serum samples were cross-tested using the Swinecheck® APP ELISA. A. pleuropneumoniae was successfully isolated from the lung of 2 pigs that developed pleuropneumonia, but was not isolated from tonsils due to heavy contamination by the resident flora. This study offers a comprehensive evaluation of the diagnostic tools currently available for detection of A. pleuropneumoniae subclinical infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-251
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Mar 24 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the grant 08-095 of NPB (National Pork Board) and in part by the Swine Disease Eradication Center at the University of Minnesota. We would like to thank Dr. Marcelo Gottschalk's laboratory for blindly testing all samples in this experiment using the Multi-APP ELISA tests offered by the University of Montreal Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. We also would like to thank Dr. Pat Blackall for providing reference strains for A. pleuropneumoniae serovars 7–15 for experimental infection.


  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
  • Diagnostics
  • Experimental infection
  • Serology


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