Wild Boar have now re-established populations in three locations in the UK following escapes from pig farms. Evidence suggests that these large mammals have the potential to act as a reservoir for helminth parasites (roundworms, flukes and tapeworms) that could transfer to domestic animals and, potentially, humans.
The project runs from January to May 2016.
Preliminary data will be obtained during a third year Biological Sciences undergraduate project from Boar faecal samples collected at a location in the South East of England to establish helminth fauna and the risk for zoonotic transfer assessed.
Samples will be assessed macroscopically for adult helminths and microscopically (following salt flotation separation) for helminth eggs.
Risk of zoonotic transfer will relate to composition of parasite diversity in samples and contact opportunities between wild boar and domestic animals/humans in the sampling area and the boar’s habitat.
Ascaris suum parasite
The project is on going and findings will be reported on completion.
Should viable parasites be discovered that are known to cause disease in domestic animals or humans, control measures may need to be undertaken to minimise zoonotic transfer and, potentially, further expansion of the wild boar populations
Dr Simon Jeffs
Dr Dawn Scott
To follow on completion of the project