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Bacteria belonging to the genus Brachyspira are gram-negative, anaerobic, spirochaetes adapted to occupy specialised niches in the large intestines of animals, including swine.1 Brachyspira species cause important digestive diseases such as swine dysentery (Brachyspira hyodysenteriae) and porcine intestinal spirochetosis (Brachyspira pilosicoli), which have a significant economic impact on the swine industry. Spain has major problems associated with swine dysentery, as demonstrated by Carvajal and others, who showed that more than 30% of Spanish farms and 12% of porcine faecal specimens tested positive for B hyodysenteriae.2 Domestic pigs and wild boars belong to the same species, and are susceptible to the same pathogens.3 In fact, increasing numbers of outbreaks of typically porcine diseases, such as swine erysipelas or exudative epidermitis, have been described in this wild animal.4 Nevertheless, information about the potential pathological relevance of Brachyspira species in wild boars is lacking. Few studies, based on culture or molecular identification of these pathogens in faeces or large intestine content, have assessed the presence of Brachyspira species in the wild boar population5 6 and other wild animals such as feral pigs.7 However, these PCR assays only provided information about the genus or about a few species (B hyodysenteriae and B pilosicoli), limiting the epidemiological information of the Brachyspira species affecting the wild boar population. Additionally, DNA-based methods are not useful for evaluating the clinical impact of Brachyspira in the host.6 Isolation of Brachyspira may provide further information regarding the epidemiology, virulence and antibiotic resistance of these pathogens. In this context, the present study undertook an epidemiological survey of Brachyspira species in the wild boar population of the …
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