Outbreaks of respiratory disease constitute a major health problem in herds of finishing pigs and their aetiology often remains unclear. In this study, 16 outbreaks of respiratory disease with acute clinical signs in finishing pigs were investigated to determine which infectious agents were involved. From each herd four diseased and two clinically healthy pigs were examined pathologically and for the presence of viruses, bacteria and mycoplasmas. In addition, paired blood samples from 10 groupmates of the diseased pigs were tested for antibodies against commonly known causal agents of respiratory disease. A clear diagnosis was possible in 12 of the 16 outbreaks. Seven were due to an infection with influenza virus and five were due to an infection with Actinobadllus pleuropneumoniae. A combination of influenza virus and A pleuropneumoniae may have caused one other outbreak, but no clear cause could be established for the other three outbreaks.