Association of Tumour Necrosis Factor and Acute Phase Reactant Changes with Post Arrival Disease in Swine

J. C. Harding, M. J. Baarsch, Michael P Murtaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Severe weight loss in the absence of respiratory, enteric or systemic clinical disease or gross pathologic lesions is often observed when immunologically naive boars are placed in conventional health swine facilities. Affected animals develop this weight loss in spite of receiving pre-entry vaccinations against common swine pathogens, such as Haemophilus parasuis or Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. In many cases, the weight loss is non-responsive to long term antibiotic therapy. In order to determine the relationships between the severity of post arrival weight loss and disease and its potential immunological or physiological indicators, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and acute phase reactant levels were correlated with the clinical status in immunologically naive boars following their transfer to a conventional facility. Boars had higher TNF (P < 0.0001) and plasma protein (P = 0.0054) levels and decreased zinc (P = 0.0004) levels during periods of clinical sickness. Likewise, peak and average plasma TNF, serum haptoglobin, and serum zinc were correlated indicating a prolonged stress or pathogenic insult (r = 0.89, P < 0.0001 for TNF; r = 0.67, P = 0.01 for haptoglobin; r = 0.73, P = 0.005 for zinc). An acute phase response, a systemic TNF increase and the development of a lymphopenia were observed in post arrival disease in swine. This is the first time cytokines and acute phase reactants have been investigated in a field study involving immunologically naive or high health swine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medicine, Series B
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1997

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