Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are present in 38 of the 50 United States, and their populations continue to expand. Domestic swine are widely regarded as vulnerable to diseases harbored by feral swine. Our objectives were to determine antibody prevalence for selected pathogens in Texas feral swine populations and identify contact events between feral and domestic swine. Overall prevalence of antibodies against brucellosis and pseudorabies virus was 11% and 30%, respectively. Antibodies to porcine reproductive and respiratory disease virus were detected in 3% of feral swine from southern Texas. All samples tested negative for antibodies to classical swine fever virus. To determine the frequency of contact events between feral swine and domestic swine in neighboring facilities, we analyzed movement data from 37 adult feral swine that were trapped ≤10 km from domestic swine facilities and equipped with geographic positioning system collars. Seven of the 37 feral swine had contact (relocated within 100 m) with domestic swine. We found that contact between feral swine and domestic swine occurred predominantly at night. Additionally, we analyzed 60 consecutive days of experimental track plots around pens that contained domestic swine and empty control pens, and found greater visitation by feral swine to the domestic swine pens. Our data demonstrate that feral swine have direct contact with domestic swine, which presents opportunity for disease transmission.
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Vol. 45 • No. 2