Epidemiology and Integrative Taxonomy of Helminths of Invasive Wild Boars, Brazil

Pathogens. 2023 Jan 23;12(2):175. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12020175.


Wild boars (Sus scrofa) are a significant invasive species in Brazil. We evaluated the helminth diversity of 96 wild boars in São Paulo state. Helminth infection descriptors were calculated, the species were identified and their 18S, 28S rDNA and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions were amplified for phylogenetic analyses. Ascarops strongylina, Strongyloides ransomi, Globocephalus urosubulatus, Oesophagostomum dentatum, Trichuris suis, Metastrongylus salmi, Metastrongylus pudendotecus, Ascaris suum and Stephanurus dentatus and Macracanthorhynchus hirudinaceus were identified. Globocephalus urosubulatus had the highest prevalence and mean abundance, and most animals had mixed infections with three parasite species. There was no association between parasite intensity and prevalence and host sex and body condition index (p > 0.05). Novel DNA sequences were obtained from G. urosubulatus, A. strongylina, and S. dentatus. This is the first study on the helmint diversity of non-captive wild boars in Brazil, and the first report of the occurrence of M. hirudinaceus, G. urosubulatus and S. dentatus in Brazilian wild boars. Non-captive wild boars of São Paulo State did not act as capture hosts for native helminth species but maintained their typical parasites, common to domestic pigs. They may act as parasite dispersers for low-tech subsistence pig farming and for native Tayassuidae.

Keywords: Acantocephala; Nematoda; invasive species; parasitic diversity; suidae; wild boar.