A serological survey was carried out to establish the distribution of classical swine fever among wild boar in Sardinia, where that disease and African swine fever have been endemic in free-ranging domestic pigs and wild boar living in the mountainous areas of the province of Nuoro for several years. Blood samples were collected from 4752 wild boar shot during the period December 1988 to January 1992. An overall prevalence of 11 per cent was observed and the almost constant rate of about 9.8 per cent detected in the past three years indicates that the infection is well established. Wild boar seropositive to classical swine fever were found not only in the areas of the province of Nuoro where they share their habitat with free-ranging domestic pigs but also in other areas of the island where contacts between wild and domestic pigs are unlikely to occur. Therefore, transmission from wild boar to wild boar seems to play an important role in the spread and persistence of classical swine fever virus. In contrast, African swine fever virus is probably unable to persist in the wild boar population in the absence of the risk factor represented by their cohabitation with domestic free-ranging pigs infected with African swine fever.
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