We examined nasal swab and lung homogenate samples collected from pigs experimentally and naturally infected with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae for the detection of M. hyopneumoniae by the nested PCR (nPCR) and culture methods. In the 23 experimentally infected pigs, M. hyopneumoniae was commonly detected in nasal swabs by the nPCR and culture methods at 4 weeks after inoculation, and there was a significant correlation (P<0.01) between the titers of viable organisms in nasal swabs and in lung homogenates in the experimentally inoculated pigs. In the naturally infected pigs, on the other hand, discrepancies in detection were found between nasal swab and lung homogenate samples in 17 of 36 cases, although the presence of gross lung lesions correlated relatively well with the detection of organisms from the samples. Our results indicated that the diagnosis of mycoplasmal pneumonia by nPCR in individual pigs with nasal swabs is reliable under these experimental conditions. At present, nPCR with nasal swabs should only be used for monitoring the disease status at the herd level under field conditions.
2005 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science