The expansion of feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations into new geographic regions is of concern not only due to increased range but also because they carry diseases and parasites that pose a threat to humans, livestock, and wildlife into new areas. Recently, emerging feral swine populations have been reported in the northeastern US and due to their adaptive nature will likely continue to spread. During 2009–2012, 49 feral swine were removed from three counties in New Hampshire. Of these, serum samples were submitted from 34 for disease surveillance testing. One of the feral swine was antibody-positive for pseudorabies virus (PRV) making it the first documented infection in feral swine in New Hampshire. Infestations of winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) were also documented on two of the feral swine which had only been reported previously on feral swine in Texas. Feral swine may not only serve as an important host for an economically important commercial swine pathogen like PRV, but they could also increase host diversity for parasites such as the winter tick, a species that can regionally impact moose (Alces alces) survival. These findings warrant further investigation of expanding and established feral swine populations in New Hampshire as pathogen hosts and support continued effort to reduce numbers or regionally eradicate feral swine.
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Vol. 50 • No. 1