Background Wild boar is an important reservoir of Mycobacterium tuberculosis variant bovis, the main causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). A proportion of tuberculosis (TB)-affected wild boars shed M tuberculosis by nasal route, favouring the maintenance of bTB in a multihost scenario. The aim of this work was to assess if M tuberculosis nasal excretion is influenced by factors commonly associated with high TB prevalence in wild boar.
Methods TB diagnosis and M tuberculosis isolation were carried out in 112 hunted wild boars from mid-western Spain. The association between the presence of M tuberculosis DNA in nasal secretions and explanatory factors was explored using partial least squares regression (PLSR) approaches.
Results DNA from M tuberculosis was detected in 40.8 per cent nasal secretions of the TB-affected animals. Explanatory factors provided a first significant PLSR X’s component, explaining 25.70 per cent of the variability observed in M tuberculosis nasal shedding. The presence of M tuberculosis in nasal secretions is more probable in animals suffering from generalised TB and mainly coinfected with Metastrongylus species and porcine circovirus type 2, explaining nearly 90 per cent of the total variance of this model.
Conclusion Measures aiming to control these factors could be useful to reduce M tuberculosis shedding in wild boar.
- wildlife management
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Contributors DR, RM, MB, PFL and JHdM were involved in planning and supervising the work. DR, RM and PG contributed to sample collection. DR, RM, RC, WG, AG and AQ implemented the laboratory experiments. DR, RM, MB, PFL and OB-P performed the analysis of the results. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and provided critical feedback.
Funding This study was supported by Junta de Extremadura Regional Government (GRU10142) and a collaboration agreement between Consejería de Agricultura, Desarrollo Rural, Medio Ambiente y Energía and Extremadura University (FEDER). DR, WL García-Jiménez and AG acknowledge the Junta de Extremadura and the European Social Fund for their research contracts (Ref: PO14024, PO14022 and TA13003, respectively).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article.
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