Prevalence of Salmonella spp. in tonsils, mandibular lymph nodes and faeces of wild boar from Spain and genetic relationship between isolates.
The importance of wild boars as game species in Spain is well known. Their feeding habits and intrusive behaviour, together with a progressively wider spreading of populations, increases the interactions of these animals with livestock and humans. Considering that wild boars could have a potential role in the transmission of certain pathogens as salmonellae, the aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp. in wild boars hunted in central-western Spain, the occurrence of this pathogen in tonsils, mandibular lymph nodes and faeces (as markers for transmission risk), and to define the phylogenetic relationships among isolated strains, in order to investigate the circulation pathways of bacteria among tissues, animals and estates. Samples from 1,041 hunted wild boars were analysed for the presence of Salmonella spp. by bacteriological culture. Isolates were confirmed by PCR and serotyped in the Spanish national reference laboratory. The genetic relationships between strains were determined by PFGE. The results showed a 7.7% of positive animals (81 wild boars), being tonsils the organ most frequently colonised by Salmonella spp. (18.7%), followed by lymph nodes (5.1%) and faecal samples (2.9%). Serovars Enteritidis and Newport were the most frequent amongst the 34 different serovars obtained. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PGFE) analysis showed a great genetic diversity, with serovars that exhibited different pulsotypes when isolated from different estates and multiple serovars in the same estate. In conclusion, this study reveals the importance of wild boars as carriers and possible transmitters of virulent and/or antimicrobial-resistant clones of Salmonella spp. to livestock and humans.