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Location: Infectious Bacterial Diseases Research

Title: Identification of Brucella spp. in feral swine (Sus scrofa) at abattoirs in Texas, USA

item Pederson, Kerri
item Bauer, Nate
item Gidlewski, Thomas
item Olsen, Steven
item Arenas, Am
item Henry, Ac
item Sibley, Td
item Nolte, Dl

Submitted to: Zoonoses and Public Health
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/13/2017
Publication Date: 4/9/2017
Citation: Pederson, K., Bauer, N., Gidlewski, T., Olsen, S.C., Arenas, A., Henry, A., Sibley, T., Nolte, D. 2017. Identification of Brucella spp. in feral swine (Sus scrofa) at abattoirs in Texas, USA. Zoonoses and Public Health. doi: 10.1111/zph.12359.

Interpretive Summary: Brucella suis is an intracellular pathogen that causes reproductive losses in swine and which also causes zoonotic infections in people. Feral swine, are an invasive species that continue to expand to new areas and cause extensive damage to native plants and species. The persistence of brucellosis in feral swine may pose a threat for reintroduction of brucellosis to swine and domestic livestock across the world. In this paper, we evaluated serologic responses and ability to recover Brucella from feral swine presented to two processing plants in Texas. We found that approximately 13% of swine were culture positive but only 29% of culture positive swine could be detected by serologic tests. This data will be of interest to regulatory personnel, people with responsibilities for management of brucellosis in wildlife or domestic livestock, livestock owners, and other parties with interests regarding brucellosis management.

Technical Abstract: Various tissues, nasal swabs, urine, and blood samples were collected from 376 feral swine at two federally-inspected abattoirs in Texas during six separate sampling periods in 2015. Samples were tested for Brucella spp. by culture and serology. Brucella spp. were cultured from 13.0% of feral swine, and antibodies were detected in 6.1%. Only 28.6% of culture-positive feral swine were also antibody-positive. Approximately the same number of males (14.0%) and females (12.1%) were culture positive, and slightly more males (7.0%) than females (4.6%) were antibody-positive. Our results indicate that serology likely underestimates the prevalence of feral swine infected, and that those who come in contact with feral swine should be aware of the symptoms of infection with Brucella spp. to ensure prompt treatment.