The ability of 17 Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae isolates representing serotypes 1, 2, 5, and 7, to adhere in vitro to porcine respiratory tract mucus was examined. Adherence of bacteria to crude mucus preparations was evaluated by use of a dot-blot assay and an enzyme immunoassay. Seventy per cent (12/17) of the isolates of A. pleuropneumoniae had affinity, to various degrees, for porcine respiratory tract mucus. No relationship was found between affinity for respiratory mucus and serotype, haemagglutination, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) profiles, or adherence to porcine tracheal rings. However, a correlation was found between affinity for respiratory mucus and capsular material thickness; heavily encapsulated isolated showed no or less affinity for mucus than isolates with a thinner layer of capsular material. Moreover, two encapsulated isolates showed less affinity for mucus than their acapsulated variant. Finally, the affinity of A. pleuropneumoniae for respiratory mucus was heat- and proteinase-K-resistant. Our data suggest that capsular material of A. pleuropneumoniae could mask a surface component, possibly LPS, which has affinity for porcine respiratory mucus.