, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 212-220

Serosurveillance for selected infectious disease agents in wild boars (Sus scrofa) and outdoor pigs in Switzerland

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Abstract

The large abundance of free-ranging wild boars (Sus scrofa) and a trend towards animal friendly outdoor management of domestic pigs lead to an increasing probability of disease transmission between those animal populations. In 2001, an active monitoring was started for classical swine fever (CSF), Aujeszky’s disease (AD) and porcine brucellosis (PB) in wild boars in Switzerland. The objective of this programme was to document the serological status of wild boars regarding the selected pathogens. To continue this serosurveillance, 1,060 wild boar samples were collected during two regular hunting seasons in 2004–2005. Furthermore, in a pilot study, 61 outdoor pigs from 14 farms located in areas with high wild boar densities were sampled in 2004 and serologically tested for AD and PB. All wild boar samples were negative for CSF. Seroprevalence for AD was 2.83% (95% CI 1.91–4.02%). Seroprevalence for PB was 13.5% (95% CI 10.7–16.7%) for the Rose Bengal test and 11.05% (95% CI 8.82–13.61%) for the indirect ELISA. There was no serological evidence for AD in domestic pigs. All tested animals from 13 piggeries were seronegative for PB, but three pigs from the same farm showed doubtful results. Further investigations on the farm did not indicate the presence of PB in the herd. These findings urge the need for better diagnostic tools to obtain reliable results concerning PB prevalence. Since contact and following transmission of infectious agents between infected wild boars and outdoor pigs might occur in the future, it is advisable to include outdoor pigs in areas at risk in routine surveillance programmes.