Salmonella species (spp.) are zoonotic enteric bacteria able to infect humans, livestock and wildlife.However, little is known about the prevalence and the presence of the different serovars in wildlife. Considering the wide distribution of wild boars and the feeding behaviour (omnivorous scavengers), wild boars may be a good indicator for environmental presence of Salmonella spp. The aims of this study were to determine the presence of Salmonella spp. in hunted wild boars and to determine the serotype the isolated strains.
Over three hunting seasons, the intestinal contents of 1,313 boars hunted in northern Italy were sampled and cultured. Salmonella spp. were isolated from 326 boars (24.82%). Thirty different serovars belonging to three different S. enterica spp. were found. Twenty-one serovars of S. enterica subsp. Enterica were found including the human pathogens S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis. In addition, nine serovars belonging to S.enterica subsp. diarizonae and S. enterica subsp. houtenae were detected.
Considering the widespread occurrence of wild boars in Europe, the epidemiological role of this species in relation to salmonellosis might be relevant and should be further investigated. Wild boars may act as healthy carriers of a wide range of Salmonella serotypes.
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