The present study analysed quantitatively the mucin 4 polymorphism for determing the F4ac/ab receptor status of a total of 63 pigs by comparing it with the in vitro villous adhesion assay. The probability of a susceptible genotype for the mucin 4 increases significantly with increasing 174ab or F4ac ETEC adhesion per 250 mu m villi (P = 0.029 for F4ab, P = 0.030 for F4ac), with the odds ratio for each unit increase of F4ab or F4ac equal to, respectively, 1.036 (95% CI [1.004-1.069]) and 1.0 18 (95% CI [ 1.002-1.034]). In the phenotypic in vitro villous adhesion test, a cut-off value of 5 bacteria was chosen as a criteria for the distinction between an F4R positive and F4R negative pig. The sensitivity and specificity for the in vitro villous adhesion test, with the genotyping test for mucin 4 as golden standard, is 100% and 24%, respectively, for 174ab as well as F4ac. Absence of adhesion of F4ac and F4ab ETEC to the villous brush borders was not associated with genotypic resistance suggesting that there is at least one other receptor for F4ab/ac Escherichia coli. As a consequence, not only mucin 4 gene polymorphism but also expression of these other receptor(s) has to be included in a screening assay for F4ac/ab receptor negative pigs. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.