Epidemiological survey on cystic echinococcosis in wild boar from Central Italy
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Despite the wide distribution of wild boar populations in Italy and the increase of its diffusion in urbanized areas, only one case report has described the occurrence of Echinococcus granulosus s.l. in a wild boar from Marche (Central Italy). The present study investigated the presence of E. granulosus sensu lato with an epidemiological survey on wild boars from central Italy that had been killed during hunting season. Seven hundred sixty-five (765) adult wild boars were examined during the 2016–2017 hunting season. Of these animals, 1.0% (8/765) were positive to E. granulosus s.l. with a fertility of 0.3% (2/765), and 2.9% animals (22/765) were positive for the metacestode stage of Taenia hydatigena (Cysticercus tenuicollis), while 0.5% (4/765) showed mixed infection (E. granulosus s.l. + T. hydatigena). Sixteen hydatids were found, of which 12.5% were fertile, 37.5% were sterile, 31.3% were caseous, and 18.8% were calcified. Eight hydatids (two fertile and six sterile cysts) were molecularly characterized by analysis of the mitochondrial gene, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1), and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1). Hydatids found in wild boars were characterized as E. granulosus sensu stricto (G1 genotype). The present survey represents the first epidemiological study on cystic echinococcosis in wild boar in Italy which highlights the need for more extensive epidemiological investigations to determine the causal factors, economic impact, and public health importance of the disease in this livestock-wildlife setting.
KeywordsWild boar Hunting Cystic echinococcosis Italy
Compliance with ethical standards
Animals included in the present study were examined during post mortem mandatory inspection visit by official veterinaries physicians of the Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Umbria and the Marche Institute, and ASUR Sanitary Units (Ministry of Health, Italy) and according to a specific agreement between Parco Nazionale of the Sibillini Mountains for sanitary monitoring of hunted animals and prevention of zoonosis (Parco Nazionale Monti Sibillini: Prot. N° 3516 – Cl. 13.4.2; Sanitary Units of Ministry of Health N° 0074901 of 13/10/2017).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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