We demonstrate Mycobacterium bovis infection in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in South Korea. During 2012–15, we attempted to isolate M. bovis from 847 wild animals, mainly Korean water deer (Hydropotes inermis argyropus), raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides), and wild boar, from 11 regions in South Korea. We isolated M. bovis from three of 118 wild boar (2.5%) captured in Gyeonggi Province, where bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreaks have also occurred in livestock. Spoligotypes and mycobacterial interspersed repetitive units–variable number tandem repeats types of these M. bovis isolates (SB0140 and SB1040, 4-2-3-3-7-5-5-4-4-3-4-3 and 5-2-3-3-7-5-5-4-3-10-5-2; MIRU4, MIRU16, MIRU27, MIRU31, ETR-A, ETR-B, ETR-C, QUB11b, QUB26, QUB3336, VNTR2401, and VNTR3171) have also been identified from farmed livestock such as cattle (Bos taurus coreanae), Formosan sika deer (Cervus nippon taiouanus), and American elk (Cervus canadensis) in the country. In South Korea, bTB appears to be endemic in livestock, and there are numerous opportunities for contact between wild boar and livestock due to high population densities and broad activity ranges. Our results support the hypothesis that M. bovis is transmitted between domestic and wild animals.
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Vol. 53 • No. 1