U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Maison, R.M., C.F. Pierce, I.K. Ragan, V.R. Brown, M.J. Bodenchuk, R.A. Bowen, and A.M. Bosco-Lauth. 2021. Potential use for serosurveillance of feral swine to map risk for anthrax exposure, Texas, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases 27(12):3103-3110.

doi: 10.3201/eid2712.211482


U.S. government work


Anthrax is a disease of concern in many mammals, including humans. Management primarily consists of prevention through vaccination and tracking clinical-level observations because environmental isolation is laborious and bacterial distribution across large geographic areas diffi cult to confi rm. Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are an invasive species with an extensive range in the southern United States that rarely succumbs to anthrax. We present evidence that feral swine might serve as biosentinels based on comparative seroprevalence in swine from historically defi ned anthrax-endemic and non–anthraxendemic regions of Texas. Overall seropositivity was 43.7% (n = 478), and logistic regression revealed county endemicity status, age-class, sex, latitude, and longitude were informative for predicting antibody status. However, of these covariates, only latitude was statistically signifi cant (β = –0.153, p = 0.047). These results suggests anthrax exposure in swine, when paired with continuous location data, could serve as a proxy for bacterial presence in specifi c areas.