An on-farm study of the epidemiology of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae infection in pigs as part of a vaccine efficacy trial

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Journal / PublicationPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes


Thirty cohort pigs were followed from birth to slaughter to study epidemiological patterns of porcine pleuropneumonia caused by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. The study was conducted within a larger 380-animal study of vaccination against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and A. pleuropneumoniae in a 340-sow farrow-to-finish piggery with 4-month weaning, operating a continuous system of intensive production in the North Island of New Zealand. The cohort pigs were randomly allocated into two equal groups: vaccinated and control. Pigs in the first group were vaccinated at 2 and 4 weeks of age with both M. hyopneumoniae vaccine and A. pleuropneumoniae vaccine at separate vaccination sites. A series of nasal swabs was taken at 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16 and 18 weeks of age. Each swab was streaked onto the surface of a selective medium on the farm and the plates were immediately transported to a laboratory and incubated at 37°C for 5 days. After the trial, pigs were slaughtered at an average of 132 days of age, lungs were examined and samples taken for bacteriological culture and isolation. Thirty-five out of 256 samples produced haemolytic colonies which were Gram-negative, V-factor-dependent and positive to the CAMP test. A. pleuropneumoniae was first isolated at 4 weeks of age from one vaccinated pig. This finding suggests that piglets became infected in the farrowing pen and the source of infection might be a carrier sow. The interval-specific cumulative incidence of A. pleuropneumoniae infection reached a maximum of 54% and 40% at 11 weeks of age in the vaccinated and control groups, respectively. Infection status of the litter is considered to be a factor influencing morbidity in infected herds during weaner and grower periods. Our results suggest that simultaneous vaccination with M. hyopneumoniae and A. pleuropneumoniae vaccines at 2 and 4 weeks of age might lessen the prevalence but cannot absolutely prevent A. pleuropneumoniae infection during the weaner or grower-finisher periods.

Research Area(s)

  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, Clinical trial, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, Pig-microbiological diseases, Pneumonia, Respiratory disease, Vaccination

Citation Format(s)