Between 1994 and 1998, 297 genetic specific pathogen-free (spf) pig herds participated in a monthly clinical and serological monitoring programme for infection with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 2 (ap-2). The average annual herd-level incidence was 3·4 per cent but there was a significant decreasing trend. A risk index, summing up the exposure from ap-2-infected neighbouring pigs within a 3 km radius, was derived from a geographical information system. A survival analysis indicates that the risk of ap-2 infection increased in proportion to the risk index, suggesting that local spread of ap-2 from infected neighbours was a significant factor. However, herd-specific purchase policies were not apparently associated with the risk of ap-2 infection.