Prevalence and main factors for Salmonella spreading in wild boars – a risk for food safety
Salmonella is not a priority pathogen for wild boar health. However, it poses a hazard for meat safety. This paper presents the results of our multi-year research on the prevalence and epidemiology of Salmonella in hunting grounds in Vojvodina, Serbia. In total, 425 wild boars (25.3% of the total population) were studied. The overall Salmonella prevalence in Vojvodina boars was not high (3.1%) and was quite similar to findings from Spain, Germany and Japan. However, the prevalence in some hunting grounds was very high (13.3-33.3%). The anthropogenic impact is significant, as the prevalence is statistically significantly higher in open hunting grounds where animals have contact with domestic animals and access to animal waste. The pulsotype (PFGE) profiles confirmed a link between isolates from wild pigs and domestic animals. The category of wild boars in which Salmonella was most commonly found was sows older than 36 months and weighing more than 75 kg, which is a direct consequence of their increased need for protein during the lactation period when they exhibit scavenging and cannibalistic behaviour.
The measures taken against Salmonella in hunting grounds need to incorporate biosecurity measures that prevent anthropogenic influence. The hygienic and sanitary measures for the control of caught animals should also include enhanced measures when processing risk categories.