Classification of Porcine Wasting Diseases Using Sound Analysis

  • Gutierrez, W.M. (Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Kim, S. (College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Kim, D.H. (College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Yeon, S.C. (College of Veterinary Medicine, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Chang, H.H. (Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gyeongsang National University)
  • Received : 2009.09.14
  • Accepted : 2009.12.22
  • Published : 2010.08.01


This bio-acoustic study was aimed at classifying the different porcine wasting diseases through sound analysis with emphasis given to differences in the acoustic footprints of coughs in porcine circo virus type 2 (PCV2), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (MH) - infected pigs from a normal cough. A total of 36 pigs (Yorkshire${\times}$Landrace${\times}$Duroc) with average weight ranging between 25-30 kg were studied, and blood samples of the suspected infected pigs were collected and subjected to serological analysis to determine PCV2, PRRS and MH. Sounds emitted by coughing pigs were recorded individually for 30 minutes depending on cough attacks by a digital camcorder placed within a meter distance from the animal. Recorded signals were digitalized in a PC using the Cool Edit Program, classified through labeling method, and analyzed by one-way analysis of variance and discriminant analysis. Input features after classification showed that normal cough had the highest pitch level compared to other infectious diseases (p<0.002) but not statistically different from PRRS and MH. PCV2 differed statistically (p<0.002) from the normal cough and PRRS but not from MH. MH had the highest intensity and all coughs differed statistically from each other (p<0.0001). PCV2 was statistically different from others (p<0.0001) in formants 1, 2, 3 and 4. There was no statistical difference in duration between different porcine diseases and the normal cough (p>0.6863). Mechanisms of cough sound creation in the airway could be used to explain these observed acoustic differences and these findings indicated that the existence of acoustically different cough patterns depend on causes or the animals' respiratory system conditions. Conclusively, differences in the status of lungs results in different cough sounds. Finally, this study could be useful in supporting an early detection method based on the on-line cough counter algorithm for the initial diagnosis of sick animals in breeding farms.


  1. Aerts, J. M., P. Jans, D. Halloy, P. Gustin and D. Berckmans. 2005. Labeling of cough from pigs for on-line disease monitoring by sound analysis. American Society of Agriculture Engineers ASAE. 48(1):351-354.
  2. Braga, P. C. and L. Allegra. 1989. Clinical methods for the study of cough. In: Cough (Ed. P. C. Braga and L. Allegra). New York: Raven Press 73-79.
  3. Chedad, A., D. Moshou, J.-M. Aerts, A. Van Hirtum, H. Ramon and D. Berckmans. 2001. Recognition system for pig cough based on probabilistic neural networks. J. Agric. Eng. Res. 79(4):449-457.
  4. Corrao, W. M., S. S. Broman and R. S. Irwin. 1979. Chronic cough as the sole presenting manifestation of bronchial asthma. N. Engl. J. Med. 300:633-637.
  5. Debrezeni, L. A.., J. Korpas and D. Salat. 1990. Spectra of voluntary first cough sounds. Acta Physiol. Hung. 75:117-131.
  6. Ferrari, S., M. Silva, M. Guarino, J. M. Aerts and D. Berckmans. 2008. Cough sound analysis to identify respiratory infection in pigs. Elsevier Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 64:318-325.
  7. Hayward, T. J. 1996. Classification by multiple-resolution statistical analysis with application to automated recognition of marine mammal sounds. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 101(3):1516-1526.
  8. Hirschberg, J. and T. Szende. 1982. Pathological cry, stridor and cough in infants. Budapest: Akiademiai Kiado 127-149.
  9. Ikeda, Y., G. Jahns, W. Kowalczyk and K. Walter. 2000. Acoustic analysis to recognize individuals and animal conditions. CIGR Paper No. P8207. Bonn, Germany: CIGR.
  10. Kelemen, S. A., T. Cseri and I. Morozsan. 1987. Information obtained from tussigrams and the possibilities of their application in medical practice. Bulletin of the European in Physiopathology Respiration 23(10):51s-56s.
  11. Korpas, J. and J. Korpasova-Sadlonova. 1982. Phonography of voluntary cough under pathological conditions. Brastil. Lek. Listy 77:513-640.
  12. Korpas, J., J. Sadlonava and M. Vrabec. 1996. Analysis of cough sound. Pulm. Pharmacol. 9:261-268.
  13. Korpas, J., J. Sadlonova, D. Salat and E. Masarova. 1987. The origin of cough sounds. Clinical Respiratory Physiology 23(10):47-50.
  14. Korpas, J., J. Sadlonova, D. Salat and L. A. Debreczeni. 1992. Tussiphonography: new tool for the diagnosis airways inflammation. In: Proceedings of 1st High Tatras Internat Health Symposium (Ed. D. Salat et al.). New York-Bratislava-tatranska Polianka: Sympos. 252-257.
  15. Korpas, J., J. W. Widdicombe, M. Vrabec and J. Kudlic. 1993. Effect of experimental lung oedema on cough sound creation. Respir. Med. 87:55-59.
  16. Leith, D. E. 1977. In: Respiratory defense mechanisms, Part 2 (Ed. D. F. Proctor and L. M. Reid). New York: Marcel Dekker 585-592.
  17. Madsen, P. T., D. A. Carder, W. W. L. Au, P. E. Nachtigall, B. Mohl and S. H. Rigway. 2003. Sound production in neonate sperm whales. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 113(6):2988-2991.
  18. Manteuffel, G., B. Puppe and P. C. Schon. 2004. Vocalization of farm animals as a measure of welfare. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 88:163-182.
  19. Marchant, J. N., X. Whittaker and D. M. Broom. 2001. Vocalisation of the adult female domestic pig during a standard human approach test and their relationships with behavioural and heart rate measures. Anim. Behav. Sci. 72(1):23-39.
  20. Moreaux, B., A. Nemmar, D. Beerens and P. Gustin. 2000. Inhibiting effect of ammonia on citric acid-induced cough in pigs; a possible involvement of substance. P. Pharmacol. Toxicol. 87:279-285.
  21. Moshou, D., A. Chedad, A. Van Hirtum, J. De Baerdemaeker, D. Berckmans and H. Ramon. 2001. An intelligent alarm for early detection of swine epidemics based on neural networks. Trans ASAE 44(1):167-174.
  22. Moura, D. J., W. T. Silva, I. A. Naas, Y. A. Tolon, K. A. O. Lima and M. M. Vale. 2008. Real time computer stress monitoring of piglets using vocalization analysis. Elsevier Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 64:11-18.
  23. Murray, S. O., E. Mercado and H. L. Roitblat. 1998. Characterizing the graded structure of false killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) vocalizations. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 104(3):1679:1688.
  24. Olia, P. M., P. Sestini, M. Rossi, F. Triscari and M. Gliasindi. 1993. Acoustic parameters of cough in chronic lung disease. Eur. Respir. J. 17:154.
  25. Piirila, P. and A. R. A. Sovijarvi. 1989. Differences in acoustic and dynamic characteristics of spontaneous cough in pulmonary diseases. Chest 96:46-53.
  26. Piirila, P. and A. R. A. Sovijarvi. 1995. Objective assessment of cough. Eur. Respir. J. 8:1949-1956.
  27. Salat, D., V. Salatova. J. Korpasova-Sadlonova and D. Palacek. 1986. Changes in cough sound of voluntary cough in acetylcholine-induced obstruction of the airways. Bratisl. Lek. Listy 85:466-471.
  28. Thorpe, C. W., L. J. Toop and K. P. Dawson. 1992. Towards a quantitative description of asthmatic cough sounds. Eur. Respir. J. 5:685-692.
  29. Toop, L., C. W. Thorpe and R. Fright. 1989. Cough sound analysis: a new toolfor the diagnosis of asthma? Fam. Pract. 6:83-85.
  30. Van Campernolle, D., S. Janssens, R. Geers, H. Vill, A. Oosterlinck, V. Goedseels, K. Goosens. G. Parduyns. J. Van Bael and L. Bosschaerts. 1992. Welfare monitoring of pigs by authomatic speech processing. Internationanl Pig Veterinary Society 2:570.
  31. Van Hirtum, A. and D. Berckmans. 2003a. Fuzzy approach for improved recognition of citric acid induced piglet coughing from continuous registration. J. Sound Vib. 266(3)667-686.
  32. Weary, D. and D. Fraser. 1995. Signaling need: Costly signals and animal welfare assessment. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 44(2-4):159-169.
  33. Weary, D. and D. Fraser. 1997. Vocal response of piglets to weaning: Effect of piglet age. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 54(2-3):153-160.
  34. White, R. G., J. A. DeShazer, C. J. Tressler, G. M. Borcher, S. Davey, A. Waninge, A. M. Parkhurst, M. J. Milanuk and E. T. Clemens. 1995. Vocalization and physiological response of pigs during castration with or without a local anesthetic. J. Anim. Sci. 73:381-386.
  35. Widdicombe, J. G. 1987. Symposium on the cough reflex-summary. Clin. Resp. Physiol. Suppl. 10:73-74.
  36. Yanagihira, N., H. Leden and E. Werner-Kukuk. 1966. The physical parameters of cough. The larynx in a normal single cough. Acta Otolaryngol. 61:495-509.
  37. Yeon, S. C., H. C. Lee, H. H. Chang and H. J. Lee. 2005. Sound signature for the identification of tracheal collapse and laryngeal paralysis in dogs. J. Med. Sci. 67(1):91-95.
  38. Young, S., N. Abdul-Satar and D. Caric. 1987. Glottis closure ang high flows are not essentialfor productive cough. Chin. Resp. Physiol. 23, Suppl. 10:11-17.

Cited by

  1. Automatic Detection and Recognition of Pig Wasting Diseases Using Sound Data in Audio Surveillance Systems vol.13, pp.10, 2013,