Surveillance of important bacterial and parasitic infections in Danish wild boars (Sus scrofa)

Heidi Huus Petersen*, Nao Takeuchi-Storm, Heidi Larsen Enemark, Stine Thorsø Nielsen, Gitte Larsen, Mariann Chriél

*Corresponding author for this work

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Similar to the situation in other European countries, Danish wild boars may harbour a wide range of pathogens infectious to humans and domestic pigs. Although wild boars must be kept behind fences in Denmark, hunting and consumption of the meat may cause zoonotic transmission. Moreover, most infections of wild boars are transmissible to domestic pigs, which may have important economic consequences. The aim of this study was to investigate whether Danish wild boars were infected with bacteria and parasites transmissible to humans or domestic pigs: Brucella suis, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Salmonella spp., Trichinella spp., lungworms and gastrointestinal parasites, especially Ascaris suum. This is the first study to investigate the prevalence of these important pathogens in Danish wild boars.
Wild boars from eight enclosures were analysed over a 5-year period. All tested wild boars were negative for B. suis (n = 240), MRSA (n = 244), Salmonella spp. (n = 115) and Trichinella spp. (n = 232), while eight parasite genera were identified in the faeces (n = 254): Ascaris suum, Capillaria sp., Cystoisospora suis, Eimeria spp., Metastrongylus sp. (lungworm), Strongyloides ransomi, Trichuris suis and strongylid eggs, i.e. strongyles not identified to the genera. Eimeria spp. and Metastrongylus sp. had the highest prevalence (92.3 and 79.5%, respectively) and were identified in wild boars from all eight enclosures, while the remaining parasite genera were present more sporadically.
Wild boars from Denmark constitute a low risk of transmitting B. suis, MRSA, Salmonella spp. and Trichinella spp. to humans or domestic pigs, while economically important parasites transmissible to domestic pigs are highly prevalent in the wild boar population.
Original languageEnglish
Article number41
JournalActa Veterinaria Scandinavica
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Brucella
  • Gastrointestinal parasites
  • Metastrongylus
  • MRSA
  • Salmonella
  • Trichinella
  • Wild boars


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