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Acta Vet Scand. 2010 Mar 25;52:23. doi: 10.1186/1751-0147-52-23.

Field experience with two different vaccination strategies aiming to control infections with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae in a fattening pig herd.

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Department of Animal Health and Antimicrobial Strategies, National Veterinary Institute, SE-751 89 Uppsala, Sweden.



The prevalence of pleurisies recorded at slaughter is increasing in Sweden, and acute outbreaks of actinobacillosis that require antimicrobial treatments have become more frequent. As an increased use of antimicrobials may result in the development of antimicrobial resistance it is essential to develop alternative measures to control the disease. Vaccinations present an appealing alternative to antimicrobial treatments. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of two different vaccination strategies in a specialized fattening herd affected by actinobacillosis.


The study was conducted in a specialized fattening herd employing age segregated rearing in eight units. The herd suffered from infections caused by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 2, confirmed by necropsy and serology. The study included 54 batches of pigs grouped into five periods. Batches of pigs of the second period were vaccinated against actinobacillosis twice, and pigs in the fourth period were vaccinated three times. Batches of pigs of the first, third and fifth period were not vaccinated. Concentrations of serum antibodies to A. pleuropneumoniae and serum amyloid A (SAA) were analysed and production data were recorded.


Despite vaccinating, medical treatments were required to reduce the impact of the disease. The mean incidence of individual treatments for respiratory diseases during the rearing period ranged from 0 to 4.7 +/- 1.8%, and was greatest during the triple vaccination period (period IV; p < 0.05 when compared to other groups). A large proportion of the vaccinated pigs seroconverted to A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 2 in the absence of a SAA-response. The prevalence of pleuritis decreased from 25.4 +/- 6.5% in the first period to 5.0 +/- 3.7% in the fifth period (p < 0.001).


The vaccine did not effectively prevent clinical expression of A. pleuropneumoniae infections, but seroconversion to A. pleuropneumoniae in the absence of a SAA-response in a large number pigs indicated that the vaccine had activated the immune system. Further, the prevalence of pleuritis decreased with time. This indicates that vaccinations together with intensified medical treatments of affected pigs could be useful in reducing the impact of A. pleuropneumoniae serotype 2 infections.

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