Serum and colostrum samples taken from 499 sows from five herds of pigs endemically infected and vaccinated against Aujeszky's disease virus, were used to investigate whether colostrum could be used to detect antibodies against glycoprotein I (gI) of the virus. Using serum as the reference, the test applied to colostrum had a sensitivity of 97 per cent and a specificity of 88 per cent. When samples were taken from 50 sows from a gI seronegative vaccinated herd, one colostrum sample was gI-positive, giving a specificity for the test of 98 per cent. The mean gI antibody titres in colostrum were about six times higher than in serum. Samples of colostrum were also taken from 132 sows from eight unvaccinated herds free of Aujeszky's disease virus. All these samples were gI-negative, giving a specificity of 100 per cent. Colostrum samples can be stored for at least six weeks at -20 degrees C without compromising the test results, and the repeatability and reproducibility of the test applied to colostrum were good.
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