Pseudorabies Virus and Brucella abortus from an Expanding Wild Pig (Sus scrofa) Population in Southern Oklahoma, USA

Author(s): Joshua A. Gaskamp, Kenneth L. Gee, Tyler A. Campbell, Nova J. Silvy, and Stephen L. Webb

Published: April 2016

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Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are causing increasing ecologic and economic damage at a global scale. Because wild pigs can carry 65 diseases that affect livestock, their widespread expansion threatens native wildlife and livestock. We screened wild pigs from south-central Oklahoma, US for antibodies against Brucella abortus, pseudorabies virus (PRV), and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS). These pathogens were chosen because they are part of eradication programs in the US and could have large economic impacts on domestic livestock if transmitted from wild animals. We tested 282 serum samples during spring 2010 (n=149) and 2011 (n=133) and found an overall exposure rate to PRV of 24.1% (n=68); PRV was detected at two of three study sites. Two wild pigs had detectable antibody to B. abortus, and one had detectable antibody to PRRS. On average, 27% of wild pigs within a sounder were positive for PRV antibody, with 44% of the sounders (16/36) having at least one positive individual. These data highlight that wild pigs could carry pathogens that affect domestic livestock. Because the US is free of these pathogens in commercial livestock operations, continued surveillance and vaccination of domestic livestock are needed. Commercial livestock producers at the wildlife-livestock interface may benefit from spatial prioritization of risk zones to facilitate strategic control efforts.

Suggested Citation

Gaskamp, J.A., K.L. Gee, T.A. Campbell, N.J. Silvy, and S.L. Webb. 2016. Pseudorabies virus and Brucella abortus from an expanding wild pig (Sus scrofa) population in southern Oklahoma. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 52:383–386.