Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae: The sensitivities of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for detecting vaccinated sows of unknown disease status using serum and colostrum, and the correlation of the results for sow serum, colostrum, and piglet serum Academic Article uri icon


  • Due to relatively high concentrations of immunoglobulins, colostrum has the potential to improve the sensitivity of diagnostic tests for diseases in pigs when compared with serum. It is possible that colostrum could improve the sensitivity of the antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) compared with serum. Colostrum is also essential for piglets, providing protection against infections in the first few weeks and months of life. The sensitivity of 2 commercially available ELISAs, one for the detection of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae and the second for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antibodies, when used with sow colostrum in comparison with serum was investigated. The correlation of maternal E. rhusiopathiae- and M. hyopneumoniae-specific antibody levels with specific-antibody serum levels in the piglet was also determined. The sensitivity was defined as the proportion of vaccinated sows that were correctly identified as vaccinated at a given cutoff point. The true disease status of the sows with regard to the 2 infections was unknown. Blood and colostrum samples were collected from 20 sows, 10 primiparous and 10 multiparous, and blood samples were also collected from the piglets of each sow, 48-72 hr post-farrowing. The sensitivities of both ELISAs were significantly improved when using colostrum compared with serum. Sow serum and colostrum optical density (OD) values were significantly correlated. The mean sow OD values for serum for E. rhusiopathiae and M. hyopneumoniae and colostrum for E. rhusiopathiae were significantly correlated with piglet serum OD levels. If the improved sensitivity of colostrum can be demonstrated in infected animals, this will increase the ability of the test to identify infected animals using both individual and pooled colostrum. Testing serum and/or colostrum using ELISA can be useful predictors of piglet disease-specific OD values.

publication date

  • 2015