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Three commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were compared for the detection of antibodies to Sarcoptes scabiei var. suis using experimental sera of six 8-week-old pigs after contact infection with Sarcoptes scabiei var. suis. Six non infected pigs were monitored as a control group. Blood sera were taken once a week from all animals. After successful infection the pigs were treated with an antiparasitic agent and the antibody titres were monitored until they were negative.
The antibody levels of the experimental pigs reached the cut-off level 5 weeks after introduction of an infected animal to the group and were positive by both the Sarcoptes-ELISA 2001 and the Acar-Test P-ELISA. Four weeks after treatment mean results showed optical densities below the cut-off level in the Sarcoptes-ELISA 2001 and 8 weeks after treatment in the Acar-Test P-ELISA.
In the Chekit Sarcoptest pigs had elevated antibody levels in comparison to control animals, but ODs remained below the given cut-off level at all times. In a second examination with Chekit Sarcoptest (different lot) and a lower cut-off level, the sera of most of the piglets tested positive.Eight weeks after treatment, four from six pigs still had positive OD values. Therefore this investigation showed a higher sensitivity for the Sarcoptes-ELISA 2001 and the Acar P-ELISA than for the Chekit Sarcoptest. Different test sensitivities must be considered when serologic methods are used for the diagnosis of swine sarcoptic mange, especially for monitoring and controlling eradication programs.