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The use of acute phase proteins for monitoring animal health and welfare in the pig production chain: The validation of an immunochromatographic method for the detection of elevated levels of pig-MAP

Piñeiro, Matilde, Morales, Joaquín, Vizcaíno, Elena, Murillo, José Alberto, Klauke, Thorsten, Petersen, Brigitte, Piñeiro, Carlos
Meat science 2013 v.95 no.3 pp. 712-718
acute phase proteins, animal welfare, blood sampling, commercial farms, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, slaughter, swine
The serum concentration of acute phase proteins (APPs) increases in the presence of disease or stress, which makes APPs notable parameters for the global assessment of animal health and welfare. A rapid, immunochromatographic test (ICT) for the detection of elevated levels of pig Major Acute-phase Protein (pig-MAP), one of the main APPs in pigs, was evaluated in more than 1400 pig serum samples obtained from commercial farms. The ICT showed a good performance with a relative sensitivity (Sn) and specificity (Sp) of 94 and 97%, respectively, for a threshold of 1.5mg/mL (comparison with ELISA). Differences in the pig-MAP levels and the number of positive samples with the ICT were observed within the season of sampling, farms, and age groups at one farm, according to the presence of disease or lesions. The ICT was also evaluated in blood samples obtained at slaughter in association with the carcase inspection. The results from this study indicate that the ICT may be used for the evaluation of groups of pigs, after analysing one sub-sample of these pigs, and might be a useful tool in routine health and welfare monitoring programmes aimed to improve the quality of pig production.