The association between papular skin lesions in slaughtered pigs and hypersensitivity to Sarcoptes scabiei var suis was examined in experimental and field studies, and by the retrospective analysis of monitoring records obtained at slaughter. A causal role for S scabiei was indicated by the production of lesions in experimentally infested pigs, by increased clinical mange in herds having high lesion scores, and by a reduction in the severity of lesions after the implementation of more intensive mange control measures. The specificity of the lesions as an indicator of sarcoptic mite hypersensitivity was estimated to be 0.92 from experimental data and 0.79 from field data. Generalised lesions were rare in mange free pigs, indicating that such lesions were highly specific (1.0 from experimental data, greater than 0.98 from field data) for mange. The assessment of the severity of the lesions in samples of slaughtered pigs appears to be a useful aid to assessing the severity of sarcoptic mange in pig herds.
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