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Prev Vet Med. 2010 Sep 1;96(3-4):211-7. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2010.06.011. Epub 2010 Jul 15.

Eurasian wild boar response to skin-testing with mycobacterial and non-mycobacterial antigens.

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IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s.n. 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain.


Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) are able to maintain bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in the wild and are most probably able to transmit the disease to other species, thus acting as a true wildlife reservoir. Translocation of wild boar is a common practice in European countries. Therefore, identifying effective tools for bTB diagnosis in living wild boar is crucial for the implementation of control measures. We describe for the first time the sex and origin related differences in the skin-test response to mycobacterial antigens (bPPD and aPPD) and to a non-mycobacterial antigen (PHA, a plant derived mitogen) in wild and farmed wild boar, and used a small sample of known M. bovis infected wild boar to establish whether skin-testing is an option for bTB diagnosis in living wild boar. The highest skinfold increase response was detected at the PHA injection site, evidencing that the PHA test could be useful in monitoring cell mediated immunity (CMI) in wild boar populations. A clear age-increasing trend of the PHA response indicated that age should be taken into account when measuring CMI in wild boar. Origin related differences in the response against mycobacterial antigens could reflect differential exposure to mycobacterial antigens. Skin testing in BCG immunized wild boar showed low sensitivity (43-57%), while the sensitivity was good in the culture positive controls (75-100%), depending on the reading criterion. Specificity improved when the criterion was a response to bPPD larger than 2 mm and bPPD response larger than aPPD response (77%). Although a limited sample, our results indicated the potential of skin test as a bTB diagnostic tool in Eurasian wild boar. However, handling of wild boar is dangerous, specificity is low, and more effort is needed in order to define the sensitivity of this technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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