Serosurvey of Aujeszky's disease virus infection in European wild boar in Spain

Aujeszky's disease virus found in wild boar from south central Spain

source: J.Vicente et al
Veterinary Record vol 156 no 13,
March 26 2005 starts p408, 5 pages long

Aujeszky's disease virus (ADV) affects wild and domestic pigs and other mammals. Eradication programmes have been successful in some countries, even Germany where ADV is found in wild boar but not domestic pigs. Infection with ADV can be fatal, and may affect carnivores eating infected boar, including wolves and lynxes. It is transmitted by air flow. Venereal transmission could also be important.

European wild boar have increased in population density in Spain, where boar are hunted, and sometimes managed with fencing, feeding, and farm-bred boar may be set free for hunters. Some hunting estates have very little sanitary care, despite resembling pig-breeding operations. Serum samples from 693 boar were collected in Spain from 200-2003, mostly between October and February. Samples came from six regions, the Sierra Moreno, Montes de Toledo, Guadiana, Jaen, Ebro basin, and Asturias. There were 378 females, 294 males, and 21 samples with no recorded gender. ADV antibodies were discovered in 306 animals of the total of 693. All boar testing positive, save one, were from the Montes de Toledo, Sierra Moreno, or Guadiana, ie from south central Spain. Population densities are higher in south central Spain, and more natural practices are used in northern Spain. Though a different strain of ADV affects domestic pigs, the prevalence of ADV in wild boar could  affect Spanish Iberian pigs under extensive farming. Female boar show higher infection rates than males, perhaps because they are more gregarious, though males are more likely to test positive in the breeding season, indicating venereal transmission. More natural management practices are needed to control ADV in Spanish wild boar.