Oral fluid sampling for health monitoring by assessment of antibody levels specific for pathogens is an exciting new concept in swine management. The work here shows that sampling of individual animals that are serologically positive for anti-PRRSV antibodies are not detected by analysis of oral fluids. Failure to detect anti-PRRSV antibodies is not a failure of the assay or lack of sensitivity, since the same method detects all forms of antibodies in oral fluids collected by pen-based group sampling with absorbent rope. We conclude that interaction with the rope stimulates secretion of antibodies that are not normally present in the oral cavity. The findings also suggest that the levels of antibody are low as compared to serum and may benefit from further optimization of the assay and a better understanding of the underlying biology.

Contact information: Michael Murtaugh, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, 1971 Commonwealth Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108. Phone: 612 625 6735, fax 612 625 5203. email: [email protected]