Article Text

Cell culture assay for toxigenic Pasteurella multocida from atrophic rhinitis of pigs
  1. JM Rutter and
  2. PD Luther


A toxin produced by strains of Pasteurella multocida isolated from pigs with atrophic rhinitis caused a cytopathic effect in cell cultures derived from embryonic bovine lung. The toxin was produced during the late logarithmic phase of bacterial growth and inactivated by heating for 30 minutes at 56 degrees C. The cell culture assay was reproducible and 10(3) to 10(4) times more sensitive than a lethal assay in BALB/c mice. There was complete agreement between results in the two tests with 76 isolates of P multocida. Neutralising activity was demonstrated in both assays with sera from infected gnotobiotic piglets. It was concluded that embryonic bovine lung cell cultures provided a sensitive in vitro test for the differentiation of toxigenic from non toxigenic isolates of P multocida. The assay could be used in diagnostic laboratories and for characterisation of the toxin.

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