Leptospira is a global pathogen of emerging public health importance in both developing and industrialized nations and can infect almost all mammalian species, including humans. As suburbanization and the popularity of outdoor recreational activities increases, so do human–wildlife and companion animal–wildlife interfaces. Florida offers a tropical climate favorable for outdoor activities and a semirural landscape that sustains an abundant feral hog population. Because no survey of leptospirosis in feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in Florida has been published to our knowledge, we sought to establish preliminary seroprevalence of leptospirosis exposure in feral hogs in Florida. Blood samples were collected opportunistically from 158 male and 166 female feral hogs taken at managed hunts and by permitted trappers in the northern, central, and southern regions of Florida. Samples were then analyzed using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for antibody titers to 20 Leptospira serovars representing 17 serogroups. A titer of >1:100 was considered positive; 33% (107/324 total samples) were positive to at least one serovar, and 46% of those were positive to multiple serovars. Antibodies to L. interrogans serovar Bratislava strain Jez Bratislava (serogroup Australis) was the most common, with 18% (58/324) testing positive for antibodies. These initial data indicate that there is a significant possibility of feral hogs having a larger role in the complex etiology of leptospirosis in Florida than historically estimated and that further investigation is warranted.
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