Animal Science, Department of


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Bortoluzzi, E.M.; Goering, M.J.; Ochoa, S.J.; Holliday, A.J.; Mumm, J.M.; Nelson, C.E.; Wu, H.; Mote, B.E.; Psota, E.T.; Schmidt, T.B.; et al. Evaluation of Precision Livestock Technology and Human Scoring of Nursery Pigs in a Controlled Immune Challenge Experiment. Animals 2023, 13, 246. ani13020246


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The objectives were to determine the sensitivity, specificity, and cutoff values of a visual-based precision livestock technology (NUtrack), and determine the sensitivity and specificity of sickness score data collected with the live observation by trained human observers. At weaning, pigs (n = 192; gilts and barrows) were randomly assigned to one of twelve pens (16/pen) and treatments were randomly assigned to pens. Sham-pen pigs all received subcutaneous saline (3 mL). For LPS-pen pigs, all pigs received subcutaneous lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 300 µg/kg BW; E. coli O111:B4; in 3 mL of saline). For the last treatment, eight pigs were randomly assigned to receive LPS, and the other eight were sham (same methods as above; half-and-half pens). Human data from the day of the challenge presented high true positive and low false positive rates (88.5% sensitivity; 85.4% specificity; 0.871 Area Under Curve, AUC), however, these values declined when half-and-half pigs were scored (75% sensitivity; 65.5% specificity; 0.703 AUC). Precision technology measures had excellent AUC, sensitivity, and specificity for the first 72 h after treatment and AUC values were >0.970, regardless of pen treatment. These results indicate that precision technology has a greater potential for identifying pigs during a natural infectious disease event than trained professionals using timepoint sampling.