Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 37, Number 1, January-February 2006
Page(s) 107 - 119
Published online 13 December 2005
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2006) 107-119
Vet. Res. 37 (2006) 107-119
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2005044

Wild boar and red deer display high prevalences of tuberculosis-like lesions in Spain

Joaquín Vicentea, Ursula Höflea, Joseba M. Garridob, Isabel G. Fernández-De-Meraa, Ramón Justeb, Marta Barralb and Christian Gortazara

a  IREC Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13080 Ciudad Real, Spain
b  NEIKER Instituto Vasco de I+D Agraria. C./Berreaga 1, 48300 Derio, Spain

(Received 14 February 2005; accepted 24 June 2005; published online 13 December 2005)

Abstract - We describe the distribution of tuberculosis-like lesions (TBL) in wild boar (Sus scrofa) and red deer (Cervus elaphus) in Spain. Animals with TBL were confirmed in 84.21% of mixed populations (n = 57) of red deer and wild boar and in 75% of populations of wild boar alone (n = 8) in central and southern Spain (core area). The prevalence of TBL declined towards the periphery of this region. In the core area, the prevalence ranged up to 100% in local populations of wild boar (mean estate prevalence 42.51%) and up to 50% in red deer (mean estate prevalence 13.70%). We carried out exploratory statistical analyses to describe the epidemiology of TBL in both species throughout the core area. Prevalence of TBL increased with age in both species. Wild boar and red deer mean TBL prevalence at the estate level were positively associated, and lesion scores were consistently higher in wild boars than in red deer. The wild boar prevalence of TBL in wild boar did not differ between populations that were or were not cohabiting with red deer. Amongst the wild boars with TBL, 61.19% presented generalized lesions, and the proportion of generalized cases was similar between sex and age classes. In red deer, 57.14% of TBL-positive individuals presented generalized lesions, and the percentage of generalized cases increased with age class, but did not differ between the sexes. These results highlight the potential importance of wild boar and red deer in the maintenance of tuberculosis in south central Spain.

Key words: Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex / tuberculosis-like lesions / red deer / Spain / wild boar

Corresponding author: Joaquín Vicente

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005