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Acta Vet Hung. 2008 Jun;56(2):145-52. doi: 10.1556/AVet.56.2008.2.1.

Identification of mycobacterial infections in wild boars in Northern Sardinia, Italy.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.


During a six-month period a region of Northern Sardinia was monitored to check the presence of mycobacterial infections in wild boars. Forty-eight serum and 229 biopsy samples were collected from different animals and examined by both traditional diagnostic techniques (culture, bacterioscopic and molecular tests) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The latter was used to determine the antibody response against both methylated and nonmethylated Heparin-Binding Haemagglutinin (HBHA) protein. Nine mycobacterial strains were isolated: three M. avium ssp. paratuberculosis (Map), three M. avium, one M. interjectum and two M. scrofulaceum strains. By PCR, only one animal was positive for M. bovis, whereas 10 animals were positive for Map. Out of the 48 sera tested, 19 showed a good humoral response to methylated HBHA and 17 to nonmethylated HBHA. Our data provide new information on the prevalence of mycobacterial infection among wild boars in Northern Sardinia and suggest that a more effective program should be developed to monitor mycobacterial infections in the wild animal population.

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