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Can J Vet Res. 2004 Jan;68(1):12-8.

Dynamics of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infection in 12 farms with different production systems.

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Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal, Edifici V, Campus de Bellaterra, UAB 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.


This study had 2 objectives: 1) to determine the involvement of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in respiratory outbreaks in herds of pigs, with the use of a nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); and 2) to determine if the dynamics of M. hyopneumoniae infection differ between 3-site versus 1- or 2-site production systems (in which at least farrowing/gestation and nursery pigs are on the same site). Animals of different ages from 12 Spanish farms with respiratory problems were randomly sampled. Blood samples and nasal swabs were collected in a single farm visit, and ELISA and nPCR tests, respectively, were performed. All the farms demonstrated M. hyopneumoniae. According to the proportions of infected animals and the appearance of clinical signs in the different age groups, the farms were divided into 2 groups: farms in which M. hyopneumoniae probably played an important role in the observed respiratory outbreak and farms in which M. hyopneumoniae was not the main agent involved in the outbreak. Although seroconversion occurred in most herds in the finishing units, the number of seropositive pigs in the first group of farms was greater than the number in the second group. Statistically significant differences (P < 0.0001) between farms with a 1- or 2-site production system versus those with a 3-site production system were detected in nPCR results but not in rates of seroconversion. The farm effect also had a great influence on both controlled parameters: the pathogen's DNA and antibody detection. Thus, although M. hyopneumoniae was present in all the studied farms, there were significant differences in the infection dynamics and clinical implications according to the type of production system, and M. hyopneumoniae colonization and seroconversion were greatly influenced by the effect of the individual farm.

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