Survey for selected pathogens in wild pigs (Sus scrofa) from Guam, Marianna Islands, USA

Vet Microbiol. 2017 Jun;205:22-25. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.05.001. Epub 2017 May 3.


Pigs (Sus scrofa) were introduced to Guam in the 1600's and are now present in high densities throughout the island. Wild pigs are reservoirs for pathogens of concern to domestic animals and humans. Exposure to porcine parvovirus, transmissible gastroenteritis, and Leptospira interrogans has been documented in domestic swine but data from wild pigs are lacking. The close proximity of humans, domestic animals, and wild pigs, combined with the liberal hunting of wild pigs, results in frequent opportunities for pathogen transmission. From February-March 2015, blood, tissue and ectoparasite samples were collected from 47 wild pigs. Serologic testing found exposure to Brucella spp. (2%), Toxoplasma gondii (11%), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus (13%), porcine circovirus type 2 (36%), pseudorabies virus (64%), Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (93%), Lawsonia intracellularis (93%), and porcine parvovirus (94%). Eleven (24%) samples had low titers (1:100) to Leptospira interrogans serovars Bratislava (n=6), Icterohaemorrhagiae (n=6), Pomona (n=2), and Hardjo (n=1). Kidney samples from nine pigs with Leptospira antibodies were negative for Leptospira antigens. Numerous pigs had Metastrongylus lungworms and three had Stephanurus dentatus. Lice (Hematopinus suis) and ticks (Amblyomma breviscutatum) were also detected. No antibodies to Influenza A viruses were detected. In contrast to the previous domestic swine survey, we found evidence of numerous pathogens in wild pigs including new reports of pseudorabies virus, PRRS virus, Brucella, and Leptospira in pigs on Guam. These findings highlight that domestic swine-wild pig interactions should be prevented and precautions are needed when handling wild pigs to minimize the risk of pathogen transmission.

Keywords: Feral pigs; Guam; Pacific island; Parasites; Pathogen; Wild pigs; Zoonoses.

MeSH terms

  • Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Circovirus / immunology
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Guam / epidemiology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / immunology*
  • Lawsonia Bacteria / immunology
  • Male
  • Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus / immunology
  • Porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus / isolation & purification
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Swine
  • Swine Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Swine Diseases / microbiology
  • Swine Diseases / parasitology
  • Toxoplasma / immunology