Objective To improve the isolation rate and identification procedures for Haemophilus parasuis from pig tissues. Design Thirteen sampling sites and up to three methods were used to confirm the presence of H. parasuis in pigs after experimental challenge. Procedure Colostrum-deprived, naturally farrowed pigs were challenged intratracheally with H parasuis serovar 12 or 4. Samples taken during necropsy were either inoculated onto culture plates, processed directly for PCR or enriched prior to being processed for PCR. The recovery of H parasuis from different sampling sites and using different sampling methods was compared for each serovar. ResultsH parasuis was recovered from several sample sites for all serovar 12 challenged pigs, while the trachea was the only positive site for all pigs following serovar 4 challenge. The method of solid medium culture of swabs, and confirmation of the identity of cultured bacteria by PCR, resulted in 38% and 14% more positive results on a site basis for serovars 12 and 4, retrospectively, than direct PCR on the swabs. This difference was significant in the serovar 12 challenge. Conclusion Conventional culture proved to be more effective in detecting H parasuis than direct PCR or PCR on enrichment broths. For subacute (serovar 4) infections, the most successful sites for culture or direct PCR were pleural fluid, peritoneal fibrin and fluid, lung and pericardial fluid. For acute (serovar 12) infections, the best sites were lung, heart blood, affected joints and brain. The methodologies and key sampling sites identified in this study will enable improved isolation of H parasuis and aid the diagnosis of Glässer's disease.