Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wild hogs: Researchers examine impact of feral pigs in eastern North Carolina

Date:
April 30, 2011
Source:
North Carolina State University
Summary:
America's feral pig population continues to expand, increasing the potential for interaction with humans and domestic swine -- and for spreading diseases. Researchers at North Carolina State University examined feral pigs from eastern North Carolina to determine exposure to two parasites that can be transmitted from animals to people -- Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and Trichinella.

America's feral pig population continues to expand, increasing the potential for interaction with humans and domestic swine -- and for spreading diseases. Researchers at North Carolina State University examined feral pigs from eastern North Carolina to determine exposure to two parasites that can be transmitted from animals to people -- Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and Trichinella.

The study found that wild pigs host a significant number of these parasites.

"If ingested by humans, these parasites can invade muscle tissue and organs, causing flu-like symptoms -- with more serious complications in the immune-compromised," says Dr. Chris DePerno, assistant professor of fisheries and wildlife sciences and co-author of the paper describing the research. "Little research has focused on evaluating feral pigs as potential reservoirs for these zoonotic parasites. Because of the numbers of commercial swine populations in eastern North Carolina, the expanding feral pig population, and the greater interaction with humans, we wanted to determine the exposure of feral pigs to these zoonotic parasites."

Modern market farm production practices have nearly eliminated the presence of most of these parasites in domestic swine. However, the recent trend toward organic and free-range pig production has increased domestic pig exposure to infection, and the possibility of human infection through pork consumption.

Between 2007 and 2009, researchers collected blood serum from 83 feral pigs harvested at Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center in Four Oaks, N.C. The pigs were then tested for the presence of antibodies. The prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii and Trichinella were 27.7 percent and 13.3 percent, respectively, and 4 percent had antibodies to both agents.

"As feral pig range and population size expands, the opportunity for feral pig hunting increases. We recommend education programs be conducted for hunters to understand their risk of exposure to these diseases during the cleaning process and meat consumption," DePerno says. Also, he hopes to conduct additional research examining the interaction of feral pigs with domestic swine operations, especially in light of the growth of free-range pig productions.

DePerno conducted the study with former fisheries, wildlife and conservation biology graduate student Mark Sandfoss, Drs. James Flowers and Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf in NC State's College of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr. Sharon Patton from the University of Tennessee. The research is published in the April issue of the Journal of Wildlife Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by North Carolina State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark Sandfoss, Christopher DePerno, Sharon Patton, James Flowers, Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf. Prevalence of antibody to Toxoplasma gondii and Trichinella SPP. in feral pigs (Sus Scrofa) of eastern North Carolina. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 2011; 47 (2): 338-343 [link]

Cite This Page:

North Carolina State University. "Wild hogs: Researchers examine impact of feral pigs in eastern North Carolina." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425120339.htm>.
North Carolina State University. (2011, April 30). Wild hogs: Researchers examine impact of feral pigs in eastern North Carolina. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425120339.htm
North Carolina State University. "Wild hogs: Researchers examine impact of feral pigs in eastern North Carolina." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110425120339.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins