The continuing expansion of Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations raises concerns regarding disease transmission. In south-central Spain, overabundant wild boar are reservoirs of Mycobacterium bovis, and related members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC), the causative agents of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using bovine-purified protein derivative was applied to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of wild boar contact with MTBC in the Iberian Peninsula and to model and identify the associated risk factors. Wild boar apparent seroprevalence was 22%. Seropositives were detected in 71% of 81 sites, including 23 sites where wildlife was thought to be bTB free. The results described a new geographic range of wild boar contact with MTBC and a stable prevalence in this wildlife reservoir that contrasts with the success of bTB control in cattle. Inference of which host (wild boar or cattle) is driving bTB maintenance was not possible with our correlational results. The possibility of a wild boar bTB emergence in non-endemic regions should urgently be taken into account to avoid a future scenario resembling the current situation in south-central Spain.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The current study is a contribution to JCCM PPIC10-0226-0243, MCINN Plan Nacional I+D+i AGL2008-03875, FAU2008-00004-C03 INIA and FEDER and to FP7 EU TB-STEP (212414). Studies on diseases shared between domestic animals and wildlife are also supported by Santander and Fundación Marcelino Botín, SDG Recursos Agrarios, Conse-jería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio de la Comunidad de Madrid, JCCM, Principado de Asturias, Gobierno de Aragón. PA is currently holding a Juan de la Cierva research contract awarded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación—Fondo Social Europeo. Authors also thank Roger Vila and all colleagues that participated in the sampling.