Creuse GDS – Wildlife health monitoring in Creuse

The working group DDETSPP23, DDT23, LDA d’Ajain, GDS Creuse and Fédération Départementale des Chasseurs de la Creuse continued its monitoring for the 2021/2022 season, thanks to hunters who collect biological material from animals captured during the hunt. Everyone would like to strongly thank this network of hunters – samplers. Three-year monitoring (tuberculosis in deer, brucellosis in wild boar) repeated at the regional level for deer (tuberculosis), health news (Aujeszky in wild boar) and regulatory obligations (trichinosis in wild boar) focused research. For trichina, again, all 45 results are negative.

Tuberculosis monitoring in wild animals with the SAGIR and SYLVATUB networks…

The epidemiological situation of bovine tuberculosis in France shows a very low prevalence on farms, but with a high proportion of cases in New Aquitaine (70 of the 99 national foci). In areas where the disease is established, wild animals can become infected. To identify wildlife infection as early as possible, a surveillance network (Sylvatub) was created. The departmental level depends on the risk of this disease. Level 3 is applied in departments where it has a relatively high prevalence and where it is necessary to better characterize the circulation of the disease in wildlife. Level 2 is applied according to the following elements: recent detection of bovine tuberculosis cases in wildlife, detection of outbreaks in cattle on a regular basis or with increased incidence or proximity to areas classified as level 3. Level 1 is assigned to other departments including Creuse.

… complementary actions in Creuse …

Due to the particular situation of tuberculosis in our region and the sensitivity of Creuse cattle, especially in outdoor farming, it was decided to establish specific surveillance as part of the three-year follow-up. In the 2021/2022 campaign, samples were taken from 73 deer, all results were negative.

… and at the level of the Massif Central

Desiring to establish health monitoring, the Cerf Observatory of the Massif Central (OCMC) was inspired by Creuse’s scheme. Exhibitions are held in Cantal, Corrèze, Creuse, Haute-Loire and Lozère, as well as in two partner departments, Aveyron and Tarn. For this campaign, screening concerned the surveillance of bovine tuberculosis. 41 samples were analyzed for Creuse, all results were negative.

Surveillance of swine brucellosis in wild boar

Long identified in wild boar, the prevalence of swine brucellosis is assessed every 3 years. The situation is stable, with a positivity rate of around 50%. This is a reminder of the need for outdoor suifer farms to implement all biosecurity measures and, in particular, compliance with fences. As this disease is a zoonosis, people who handle wild boar must follow basic hygiene measures.

… and Aujeszky after wild boar alerts

Due to cases of Aujeszky’s disease in wild boar farms in Allier in 2020 and 2021, a farm in Corrèze in 2021 and the contamination of several hunting dogs, monitoring was carried out for this disease for 2 campaigns. Particular attention was paid to the neighboring areas of open-air suidaceous farms and the eastern boundary of the department. 39 samples were taken and no positive results came out.

A study of alveolar echinococcosis in foxes

It is a parasitic disease caused by a small tapeworm, Echinococcus multilocularis. Mainly foxes, but also dogs and occasionally cats are parasitized by consuming rats (intermediate hosts). Carnivores then excrete very resistant “eggs” into the external environment, which can soil fruits, plants or their fur with their droppings. Humans can then become an accidental host, through the proximity of foxes or direct contact with dogs, as well as through the consumption of dirty products. A sample of 100 samples evenly distributed across Creuse’s department was programmed. With a prevalence of 47% in 62 foxes, the first results confirm the presence of this parasite in our territory.

For 2022/2023, trichinella control, ongoing Aujeszky surveillance, and an SDRP survey in wild boar

The search for trichinella will continue due to regulatory obligations regarding its consumption. Given the persistent alert about Aujeszky’s disease, surveillance will continue with again 50 samples analyzed, along with a PRRS analysis to verify the absence of circulation of this disease in the wild population.

For deer, BVD monitoring
Deer being a theoretically susceptible species to the BVD virus, its serological status is monitored every 3 years. So far all results have been negative, which confirms that wildlife is not a risk factor for livestock. For this campaign, 100 samples will be analyzed again.

An assessment of the level of parasite infestation in deer

In recent years, we have observed relatively high parasite contamination in deer, with the emergence of new bovine parasites that seem to adapt to deer (ostertagia, for example). This surveillance will also be extended to deer in the Massif Central within the scope of the OCMC.
The departmental serum library, a research tool

Since 2009, blood samples sent to the Ajain LDA are stored to allow for later recall if a pathology investigation is decided. To date, 1,198 samples have been preserved, including 408 from deer, 359 from deer and 229 from wild boar.

Wildlife health monitoring, a useful tool for everyone

Wildlife health monitoring, in place in Creuse since 1996, allows the collection of data on the status of hunting in terms of zoonoses and diseases common to wild and domestic species. It represents a potential alert tool for managers of fauna and human and animal health, hence its continuation with its adaptation according to needs. For breeders, the only identified threat remains swine brucellosis with a high prevalence in wild boar. Do not hesitate to contact us for any comments, suggestions or requests.


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