Human enteropathogens carried by Swedish wild boars
Pure Eurasian wild boars and/or hybrids with domestic pigs are present in the wild on most continents. These wild pigs have been demonstrated to carry a large number of zoonotic and epizootic pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Yersinia enterocolitica and Y. pseudotuberculosis. Wild boar populations throughout Europe are growing and more and more wild boar meat is being consumed, the majority within the homes of hunters without having passed a veterinary inspection.
The aim of this study was to investigate if factors such as population density, level of artificial feeding, time since establishment of a given population, and the handling of animal by-products from slaughtered animals could influence the presence of these pathogens in the wild boar.
In total, 90 wild boars from 30 different populations in Sweden were sampled and analysed using a protocol combining pre-cultivation and PCR-detection. The results showed that 27% of the sampled wild boars were positive for Salmonella spp., 31% were positive for Y. enterocolitica and 22% were positive for Y. pseudotuberculosis. In 80% of the sampled populations, at least one wild boar was positive for one of these enteropathogens and in total, 60% of the animals carried at least one of the investigated enteropathogens. The presumptive risk factors were analysed using a case–control approach, however, no significant associations were found.
Human enteropathogens are commonly carried by wild boars, mainly in the tonsils, and can thus constitute a risk for contamination of the carcass and meat during slaughter. Based on the present results, the effect of reducing population densities and number of artificial feeding places might be limited.
Link to the publication
Sannö, A., Rosengren, T., Aspan, A., Backhans, A., Jacobson, M. 2018. Distribution of enteropathogenic Yersinia spp. and Salmonella spp. in the Swedish wild boar population, and assessment of risk factors that may affect their prevalence. Acta Vet Scand. 60:40, pp. 1-9;