High-Density Dependence But Low Impact on Selected Reproduction Parameters of Brucella suis Biovar 2 in Wild Boar Hunting Estates from South-Western Spain

Authors

  • D. Risco,

    Corresponding author
    1. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura (UEX), Cáceres, Spain
    • Correspondence:

      D. R. Pérez. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria-UEX, Avda. Universidad sn, E-10003, Cáceres, Spain.

      Tel.: +34927257114;

      Fax: +34927257110;

      E-mail: riscope@unex.es

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  • A. García,

    1. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura (UEX), Cáceres, Spain
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  • E. Serrano,

    1. Servei d’ Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
    2. Estadística i Investigació Operativa, Departament de Matemàtica, Universitat de Lleida, Lleida, Spain
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  • P. Fernandez-Llario,

    1. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura (UEX), Cáceres, Spain
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  • J. M. Benítez,

    1. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura (UEX), Cáceres, Spain
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  • R. Martínez,

    1. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura (UEX), Cáceres, Spain
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  • W. L. García,

  • J. Hermoso de Mendoza

    1. Unidad de Patología Infecciosa, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Extremadura (UEX), Cáceres, Spain
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Summary

Porcine brucellosis is a disease caused by Brucella suis, which is characterized by reproductive disorders in pigs. The number of cases of swine brucellosis has risen in many European countries, likely because of the presence of a wild reservoir of B. suis in wild boar. This study aimed at evaluating factors that may influence the probability of infection with Brucella spp. in wild boar and at assessing the impact of a previous contact with Brucella spp. on reproductive parameters of wild boar. Two hundred and four wild boar living in Extremadura (south-western Spain) were studied. The presence of anti-Brucella antibodies was determined using an indirect ELISA, while the presence of living bacteria in genital organs was evaluated through microbiological cultures. Sex, age, density of wild boar in summer and presence of outdoor pigs were selected as possible risk factors for being seropositive for Brucella spp. in wild boar. In addition, reproductive parameters such as breeding status or potential fertility in females and testis weight in males were estimated and related to the presence of anti-Brucella antibodies. A total of 121 animals were seropositive, resulting in a prevalence of 59.3% (95% CI). In addition, seven isolates of B. suis biovar 2 were obtained. Wild boar density in summer, as well as age and sex, was proposed as factors to explain the probability of Brucella seroconversion, although wild boar density in summer was the key factor. Current measures of reproductive parameters were not influenced by a previous contact with Brucella spp. Isolation of B. suis confirms that wild boar could represent a risk to domestic pig health in the study area. Wild boar density seems to have a great influence in the probability of infections with B. suis and suggests that density management could be useful to control Brucella infection in wild boar.

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