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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2009 Sep 27;364(1530):2697-707. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2009.0086.

Wild boars as sources for infectious diseases in livestock and humans.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, CRC-Integrated Life Sciences Building, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0913, USA.


Wild boars (Sus scrofa) are indigenous in many countries in the world. These free-living swine are known reservoirs for a number of viruses, bacteria and parasites that are transmissible to domestic animals and humans. Changes of human habitation to suburban areas, increased use of lands for agricultural purposes, increased hunting activities and consumption of wild boar meat have increased the chances of exposure of wild boars to domestic animals and humans. Wild boars can act as reservoirs for many important infectious diseases in domestic animals, such as classical swine fever, brucellosis and trichinellosis, and in humans, diseases such as hepatitis E, tuberculosis, leptospirosis and trichinellosis. For examples, wild boars are reservoirs for hepatitis E virus, and cluster cases of hepatitis E have been reported in Japan of humans who consumed wild boar meat. In Canada, an outbreak of trichinellosis was linked to the consumption of wild boar meat. The incidence of tuberculosis owing to Mycobacterium bovis has increased in wild boars, thus posing a potential concern for infections in livestock and humans. It has also been documented that six hunters contracted Brucella suis infections from wild swine in Florida. This article discusses the prevalence and risk of infectious agents in wild boars and their potential transmission to livestock and humans.

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