An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was evaluated for detection of antibodies (Ab) against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and M. flocculare in sera from swine experimentally infected with these agents. In addition, the ELISA was compared with the complement fixation test (CFT), and radial immunodiffusion enzyme assay (RIDEA) for the demonstration of Ab against M. hyopneumoniae. Twenty two 6-week-old swine from a respiratory disease-free herd were divided into five groups. Two or three pigs from each of the four groups were inoculated, respectively, with M. hyopneumoniae or with M. flocculare while two pigs in each group were contact exposed to the inoculated penmates. A fifth group, consisting of three pigs, served as uninoculated controls. Pigs inoculated with M. hyopneumoniae began coughing 13 days post inoculation (PI). Antibodies were first detected 2 weeks PI with the CFT, 3 weeks PI with the ELISA, and 5 weeks PI with the RIDEA. With the ELISA and RIDEA, Ab were still detectable one year PI at very low level. With the CFT, Ab were not detectable in sera from any swine beyond 5 months PI. At necropsy 1 year PI, no lesions were detected in lungs of any of the animals nor were mycoplasmas detected. M. flocculare inoculated or contact-exposed pigs never evidenced clinical signs. Antibodies against M. flocculare were first detected 5 to 12 weeks PI with CFT, and 6 to 12 weeks PI with the ELISA. Peak optical density (OD) values obtained in the ELISA with M. flocculare Ab were as high as the values obtained with peak M. hyopneumoniae Ab titers. Levels of Ab against M. flocculare were at relatively higher OD at 1 year PI than Ab against M. hyopneumoniae. Sera with high levels of Ab against M. flocculare cross-reacted slightly with M. hyopneumoniae antigen in immunoblotting and ELISA.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
These studies were supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Iowa Livestock Health Advisory Council and USDA CSRS IPM grant No. 88-34103-3363. We wish to express our appreciation to Dr. C.H. Armstrong for reviewing the manuscript. Appreciation is also expressed to Barbara Er-ickson and Nancy Upchurch for technical assistance.