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Feasibility of pooled oral fluid collection from pre-weaning piglets using cotton ropes

Abstract : Collection of pooled oral fluid (OF) by allowing pigs to chew on a cotton rope is an alternative to blood sampling. However, little is known about the applicability of this method to suckling piglets. The objectives of the present study were to describe the spontaneous interaction of suckling piglets with a rope and to investigate the influence of a rope pre-exposure on the success rate of sampling. We studied the interaction dynamics of 21 and 28 days-old suckling piglets with a cotton rope presented for 30 min. Ropes were manually wrung out inside plastic bags to release the oral fluid. A total of 49 litters were included. Percentages of success of pooled OF collection for 28-day-old, 21-day-old and 21-day-old pre-exposed litters were 82%, 62% and 100%, respectively. The mean volume collected did not differ between groups. Without pre-exposure, 84.7% and 95% of piglets interacted spontaneously with the rope at 21 and 28 days of age, respectively. The latency between rope presentation and interaction was highly variable between piglets within litters: from < 10 s to 30 min. Among piglets having interacted with the rope, the interaction lasted for at least 60 s for 90% and 91.4% of 21 and 28-day-old piglets, respectively. Pooled OF collection is achievable prior to weaning in piglets of at least 21 days of age. Pooled OF sampling is representative at litter level if collection is successful. In order to improve the success rate of collection, pre-exposing the piglets with a rope one day prior to sampling is effective.
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Contributor : Michel Leroux <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 5:12:44 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 4:41:28 PM

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Gwenaël Boulbria, Valérie Normand, Mily Leblanc-Maridor, Catherine Belloc, Pauline Berton, et al.. Feasibility of pooled oral fluid collection from pre-weaning piglets using cotton ropes. Veterinary and Animal Science, 2020, 9, pp.100099. ⟨10.1016/j.vas.2020.100099⟩. ⟨hal-03137887⟩



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