Swine Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the bacteria Brucella suis. It is primarily found in swine, but has also been documented in cattle, horses, and dogs. Hog hunting dogs are at increased risk of becoming infected due to the frequency of their interactions with hogs. In animals, the disease is transferred through breeding, direct contact with infected tissues, or from viable materials in the environment. Material associated with reproduction including fetuses, placental membrane, and fluids (semen, vaginal fluids, urine) may all be contaminated in infected individuals depending on the species. In domestic pigs, symptoms can include sterility, aborted pregnancies, and weak offspring. In feral swine, clinical symptoms are rare and typically less extreme. This disease has been eradicated from the majority of commercial operations in the United States, but is still present in feral populations. When small herds of domestic swine or cattle become infected, exposure is often traced back to an encounter with feral pigs.
Swine Brucellosis is an especially concerning disease because it is zoonotic which means that it can be transmitted to humans. Symptoms in humans can included fever, chills, sweating, fatigue, joint pain, and muscle pain. Once identified, treatment is available under the supervision of a doctor. If left untreated, the disease can lead to long term complications. The disease can be transmitted to humans through infected fluids or blood entering the body. Recent cases of human infection in the United States have been associated with cuts that occurred while field dressing and processing meat from feral hogs.
For more information on preventing infection while working with feral hogs, see these Safety Practices recommended by the CDC.