Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Porcine haptoglobin as markers in finishing pigs

A case-control study including 340 finishing pigs in 15 commercial Danish pig herds was carried out in order to study haptoglobin concentration in serum as an objective marker of different clinical signs. Rectal temperature and haptoglobin concentration in serum was compared as markers of clinical disease.

Finishing pigs aged 10 to 25 weeks with different clinical signs were matched to control pigs without clinical signs with respect to herd, pen, estimated weight and gender. Each pig was subjected to a standard clinical examination and a serum sample was obtained. In 86 of the case-control pairs, the rectal temperature was also recorded.

A substantial and significantly elevated mean haptoglobin concentration in serum was found in pigs with lameness (p < 0.0001), respiratory disease (p = 0.0002), tail or ear bite (p < 0.0001) and diarrhea (p = 0.02). Similarly, a higher mean rectal temperature was found in pigs with lameness (p < 0.0001), respiratory disease (p = 0.002) and tail or ear bite (p = 0.0003) when compared to the controls.

A significant but low correlation between rectal temperature and haptoglobin concentration in serum was observed (p = 0.003, r = 0.20). Maximum simultaneously sensitivity (0.61 - 0.71) and specificity (0.61 - 0.77) of serum haptoglobin for the different clinical signs was found at a cut-off value of 1.1mg/mL. When using a cut-off value of 1.8mg/mL, the sensitivity decreased (0.31 - 0.60) and the specificity increased (0.82 - 0.86). The area under the ROC-curve was found to be 0.67 - 0.78 for the different clinical signs. Defining a cut-off value which classified individual pigs according to clinical signs was not possible.

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Reported by

Royal Agricultural and Veterinary University
Royal Veterinary and Agicultural University, 2 Grønnegårdsvej
1870 Frederiksberg
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