Increased Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Disease Prevalence in Domestic Hybrids Among Free-Living Wild Boar

D.J. Goedbloed*, W.F. van Hooft, W. Lutz, H.J.W.C. Megens, S.E. van Wieren, R.C. Ydenberg, H.H.T. Prins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Wildlife immune genes are subject to natural selection exerted by pathogens. In contrast, domestic immune genes are largely protected from pathogen selection by veterinary care. Introgression of domestic alleles into the wild could lead to increased disease susceptibility, but observations are scarce due to low introgression rates, low disease prevalence and reduced survival of domestic hybrids. Here we report the first observation of a deleterious effect of domestic introgression on disease prevalence in a free-living large mammal. A fraction of 462 randomly sampled free-living European wild boar (Sus scrofa) was genetically identified as recent wild boar–domestic pig hybrids based on 351 SNP data. Analysis of antibody prevalence against the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhyo) showed an increased Mhyo prevalence in wild–domestic hybrids. We argue that the most likely mechanism explaining the observed association between domestic hybrid status and Mhyo antibody prevalence would be introgression of deleterious domestic alleles. We hypothesise that large-scale use of antibiotics in the swine breeding sector may have played a role in shaping the relatively deleterious properties of domestic swine immune genes and that domestic introgression may also lead to increased wildlife disease susceptibility in the case of other species. © 2015 International Association for Ecology and Health
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-579
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • deleterious alleles
  • hybrid
  • introgression
  • porcine enzootic pneumonia
  • Sus scrofa
  • wildlife disease
  • wildlife–domestic interface


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