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Vet Parasitol. 2013 Mar 31;193(1-3):85-94. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2012.11.025. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum and associated risk factors in intensive or semi-intensively managed dairy and breeding cattle of Ethiopia.

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  • 1School of Veterinary Medicine, Hawassa University, P.O Box, 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia.


A cross-sectional study of Neospora caninum infection was conducted in major milksheds of Ethiopia. Cattle (n=2334) from 273 farms were bled and the sera screened for antibodies against N. caninum using a commercial ELISA kit. Herd and individual animal level data were collected from farm records and a semi-structured questionnaire format. The overall animal level seroprevalence was 13.3%, while the prevalence at farm level was 39.6%. In urban and peri-urban smallholder dairy farms, the seroprevalence was 14.9%, while 12.9% and 9.8% reactors were found among commercial dairy farms and breeding cattle, respectively. At farm level, 35.7% of urban and peri-urban farms, 47.5% of the commercial farms and five of the breeding farms were found to have at least one infected animal. Purchased cows (OR: 2.3) and cows with history of maternal reproductive disorders (OR: 2.1) were associated with seropositivity at the individual animal level. Crossbred cattle (Holstein-Friesian crossed with indigenous zebu) were associated with lower risk than pure breeds (OR: 0.6). A trend of prevalence increment was observed for large herd sizes (OR: 1.8). Other factors that were associated with seropositivity were: presence of farm dogs for more than 5 years (OR: 1.9), access to farm by wild carnivores (OR: 3.1) and compromised farm hygienic status (OR: 3.4). Abortion, retention of foetal membrane and metritis were the most frequently reported clinical reproductive disorders among seropositive cattle. Together, these finding indicate that N. caninum infection is highly prevalent, widely distributed and clinically important in dairy and breeding cattle of Ethiopia. N. caninum should be considered an important infectious cause of reproductive disorders in Ethiopian cattle, and the risk factors for exposure identified here should be used as basis for implementing control measures that could limit the transmission of this infection.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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