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.

Related Articles


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 October 24, 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 October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Weird-Looking Dinosaur Solves 50-Year-Old Mystery

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) You've probably seen some weird-looking dinosaurs, but have you ever seen one this weird? It's worth a look. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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