ELISPOT and ELISA were standardised for pig interferon-γ (IFN-γ), interleukin-10 (IL-10) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) with the aim to study the evolution of the immune response in conventional pigs from birth to 6 months of age and also to compare results of both techniques. Five pigs were bled at 1, 6, 9, 12 and 22 weeks of age and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were stimulated with phytohemagglutinin. The frequencies of cytokine secreting cells (CSC) and the levels of secreted cytokines were compared. For IFN-γ the mean of CSC increased with age (p < 0.05) from an average of 486/106 PBMC at first week of age to 1256/106 PBMC at 22 weeks of age. No correlation was found between the number of IFN-γ CSC and the cytokine levels obtained by ELISA. For IL-10, frequencies of CSC did not increase with age of pigs, having a low of 315/106 PBMC at first week of age and a high of 1485/106 PBMC at six weeks. Comparison of ELISA and ELISPOT results for IL-10 showed a certain degree of correlation (r = 0.74; p < 0.05). Spontaneous secretion was observed in unstimulated cultures. For IL-4, frequencies of CSC were low (50-70/106 PBMC). In this case, comparison of ELISA and ELISPOT could not be done because cytokine levels in culture supernatants were often below the detection limit of the IL-4 ELISA. All these values can serve as a reference for future studies and also, our observations suggest that ELISPOT and ELISA should be carefully interpreted and do not necessarily correlate. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.