Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus in wild boar and Iberian pigs in south-central Spain

Víctor Rodríguez-Prieto, Deborah Kukielka, Beatriz Martinez Lopez, Ana Isabel de las Heras, José Ángel Barasona, Christian Gortázar, José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Joaquín Vicente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is a swine infectious disease causing major economic problems on the intensive pig industry. This virus has been reported worldwide in domestic pigs and there is evidence of PRRS virus (PRRSV) infection in wild boar (Sus scrofa). Nonetheless, the epidemiological role of wild boar and extensively kept domestic pigs remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of PRRS in wild boar and Iberian pigs in the dehesa ecosystem of the Castile-La Mancha region of Spain, which boasts one of the most important free-roaming porcine livestock and hunting industries in the country. Using geo-spatial analysis of literature data, we first explored the relationship between domestic pig density and PRRS occurrence in wild boar in Europe. Results revealed that PRRS occurrence in wild boar may be influenced, albeit not significantly, by domestic pig density. Next, we analyzed sera from 294 wild boar and 80 Iberian pigs by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for PRRSV antibodies. The sera and 27 wild boar tissue samples were analyzed by two real-time RT-PCR assays, targeting the most conserved genes of the PRRSV genome, ORF1 and ORF7. Seven wild boar (2.4 %) and one Iberian pig (1.3 %) were seropositive, while none of the animals tested positive for PRRSV by RT-PCR. Our results confirm the limited spread of PRRSV in free-roaming Iberian pigs and wild boar living in mutual contact. Further studies would be necessary to address whether this low seroprevalence found in these animals reflects transmission from intensively kept pigs or the independent circulation of specific strains in free-roaming pigs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Dehesa
  • Free roaming
  • Iberian pigs
  • PRRS
  • RT-PCR
  • Wild boar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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