Profiling Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in farms using serology and a nested PCR technique

Maria Calsamiglia, DVM, PhD; Carlos Pijoan, DVM, PhD; Gary J. Bosch, DVM

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Objective: To profile herds experiencing Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae pneumonia using both a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique and serology and to compare both techniques.

Methods: Five commercial farms with a history of mycoplasmal pneumonia participated in the study. Samples were taken from different age groups during a single visit, starting at 5, 6, 7, or 8 weeks of age and up to nearly marketing age. Ten animals per age group (five different age groups per farm) were randomly selected and nasal swabs and blood samples taken. DNA from nasal swabs was extracted and the nested PCR to detect M. hyopneumoniae infected animals was performed. Sera were tested for antibodies to M. hyopneumoniae. The estimated antigen and antibody prevalence per age group was calculated, and plotted with their corresponding confidence intervals. Differences between both tests were measured using c2 analysis.

Results: Serum and bacterium profiles for each farm were obtained. The nested PCR showed a higher proportion of infected animals in the early spread of the microorganism than serology, and provided more accurate information on the dynamics of infection.

Implications: The nested PCR detects M. hyopneumoniae earlier then serology. Moreover, detecting M. hyopneumoniae from nasal swabs offers new and valuable information in helping interpret serum profiles and figuring out when animals get infected and how and where M. hyopneumoniae is being transmitted. This information will potentially allow for better timing in the application of medication, vaccination, or management strategies.

Keywords: M. hyopneumoniae, nested PCR, serum profiles, bacterium profiles.

RIS citationCite as: Calsamiglia M, Pijoan C, Bosch GJ. Profiling Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in farms using serology and a nested PCR technique. J Swine Health Prod 1999;7(6):263-268.

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