We used serology to estimate the prevalence of exposure to chlamydiae in Italian populations of wild boars (Sus scrofa). Sera from 173 hunter-killed wild boars harvested during the 2006–2009 hunting seasons in three Italian regions were tested for antibodies to Chlamydia suis, Chlamydophila pecorum, Chlamydophila abortus, and Chlamydophila psittaci by the microimmunofluorescence test. Antibody titers to chlamydiae ≥1:32 were detected in 110 of the 173 samples tested (63.6%). Specific reactivity could be assessed only in 44 sera with antibody titers to C. suis that were two- to threefold higher than antibody titers against the other chlamydial species; the other 66 sera had similar reactivity against all the chlamydia species tested. Antibody to C. suis was detected in sera from wild boar populations with rare or no known contact with domestic pigs. These results suggest that the wild boar could be a chlamydia reservoir and may acquire chlamydiae independent of contacts with the domestic pig.
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Vol. 47 • No. 3