PCR Assay Detects Brucellosis in Wild Boar

SWITZERLAND - A real-time PCR assay was a specific and sensitive tool for the detection of Brucella spp. infections in wild boars, according to new research published by Vladimira Hinic of the National Centre for Zoonoses, Bacterial Animal Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance (ZOBA) at the University of Berne and co-authors in BMC Veterinary Research.
calendar icon 23 July 2009
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Control of brucellosis in livestock, wildlife and humans depends on the reliability of the methods used for detection and identification of bacteria.

In the present study, they describe the evaluation of the recently established real-time PCR assay based on the Brucella-specific insertion sequence IS711 with blood samples from 199 wild boars (first group of animals) and tissue samples from 53 wild boars (second group of animals) collected in Switzerland.

Results from IS711 real-time PCR were compared to those obtained by bacterial isolation, Rose Bengal Test (RBT), competitive ELISA (c-ELISA) and indirect ELISA (i-ELISA).


In the first group of animals, IS711 real-time PCR detected infection in 11.1 per cent (16/144) of wild boars that were serologically negative. Serological tests showed different sensitivities (RBT 15.6 per cent, c-ELISA 7.5 per cent and i-ELISA 5.5 per cent) and only two per cent of blood samples were positive with all three tests, which makes interpretation of the serological results very difficult.

Regarding the second group of animals, the IS711 real-time PCR detected infection in 26 per cent of animals, while Brucella spp. could be isolated from tissues of only 9.4 per cent of the animals.


The results presented indicate that IS711 real-time PCR assay is a specific and sensitive tool for detection of Brucella spp. infections in wild boars, according to the researchers. For this reason, they propose the employment of IS711 real-time PCR as a complementary tool in brucellosis screening programmes and for confirmation of diagnosis in doubtful cases.


Hinic V., I. Brodard, A. Thomann, M. Holub, R. Miserez and C. Abril. 2009. IS711-based real-time PCR assay as a tool for detection of Brucella spp. in wild boars and comparison with bacterial isolation and serology. BMC Veterinary Research, 5:22. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-5-22.

Further Reading

- You can view a provisional PDF version of the full report by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on brucellosis in pigs by clicking here.
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