Evaluation of diagnostic assays for the serological detection of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae on samples of known or unknown exposure

Tanja Opriessnig, Michelle Hemann, John K Johnson, Sheila Heinen, Luis G Giménez-Lirola, Kevin C O'Neill, Hai Hoang, Kyoung-Jin Yoon, Marcelo Gottschalk, Patrick G Halbur

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Accurate diagnosis of exposure to Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is important for maintaining negative farms. In the present study, the ability of a dual-plate complement fixation (CF) assay and 3 commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs; quad-plate ELISA-1, single-plate ELISA-2, and single-plate ELISA-3) in detecting serological evidence of A. pleuropneumoniae exposure was compared using serum samples of experimentally infected or vaccinated pigs, or field samples from the United States. Forty-two pigs were divided into groups of 2 pigs and were inoculated with 1 of 15 A. pleuropneumoniae strains representing all known serovars of A. pleuropneumoniae, or with Actinobacillus suis, or were vaccinated with a bacterin containing A. pleuropneumoniae serovar 1, 3, 5, or 7. Serum samples collected at the day of inoculation or vaccination and 7, 14, 21, and 28 days later were used to compare the assays. On samples from experimentally infected pigs, the dual-plate CF assay, quad-plate ELISA-1, single-plate ELISA-2, and single-plate ELISA-3 had sensitivities of 0.46, 0.74, 0.13, and 0.13 and specificities of 0.90, 1.0, 1.0, and 1.0, respectively. Vaccinated pigs were identified only by the dual-plate CF assay and the quad-plate ELISA-1. In addition, 90 serum samples with unknown A. pleuropneumoniae exposure collected under field conditions were tested with all assays. The agreement of the 4 assays on field samples was slight to fair. While several assays are available for demonstration of A. pleuropneumoniae exposure, differences in assay targets complicate test choices. Decisions on which assay or combination of assays to use depend on the specific reasons for running the assays.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Actinobacillus Infections
  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Complement Fixation Tests
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Random Allocation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases


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