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Longitudinal evaluation of three commercial diagnostic assays for Lawsonia intracellularis infection in swine
  1. A. Lebret, DVM1,
  2. V. Auvigne, DVM2 and
  3. A. Morel Saives, DVM3
  1. 1Porc.Spective – Chêne Vert Conseil, Noyal-Pontivy 56920, France
  2. 2Ekipaj, 22 rue d'Assas, Angers 49000, France
  3. 3ELANCO Animal Health France, 24 boulevard Vital Bouhot, Neuilly sur Seine 92521, France
  1. Email for correspondence: a.lebret{at}

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Ileitis is an intestinal disease of swine commonly caused by Lawsonia intracellularis. Clinical signs range from bloody diarrhoea with sudden death to intermittent diarrhoea and retarded growth. Our study compared two serological and one antigen-based commercial diagnostic assay for the detection of L intracellularis infection in live animals: the bioScreen Ileitis Antibody ELISA (antibody ELISA), the Elanco IFAT IleiTest (immunofluorescent IgG detection) and the Elanco FIRSTtest (antigen ELISA).

Materials and methods

Study population and sampling

The study was conducted in a 250-sow indoor farrow-to-finish farm known to be infected with L intracellularis. Piglets were weaned at 28 days of age and transferred to grower facilities at 12 weeks of age. Two batches of pigs weaned at a three-week interval in September 2010 were monitored from 5 to 23 (batch 2) or 26 (batch 1) weeks of age. Eleven pigs in each batch were randomly selected and individually identified. Every three weeks each of these pigs was bled and approximately 1 g of faeces was collected per rectum.

Laboratory tests

ELISA bioScreen tests were undertaken at the Laboratory Bio Chêne Vert (Chateaubourg, France); IFATs and FIRSTtests were performed at the Laboratory LDA22 (Ploufragan, France). Serum samples were analysed using the bioScreen Ileitis Antibody ELISA test, and absorbance values were converted into percentages of inhibition values (PI) as per the manufacturer's instructions (bioScreen, Münster, Germany). Qualitative ELISA results were determined using three different thresholds: PI 20 (indeterminate cut-off value recommended by …

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