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Trop Anim Health Prod. 2011 Mar;43(3):651-6. doi: 10.1007/s11250-010-9748-2. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

Seroprevalence of brucellosis and its contribution to abortion in cattle, camel, and goat kept under pastoral management in Borana, Ethiopia.

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Department of Veterinary Medicine, Hawassa University, P.O.Box 05, Hawassa, Ethiopia.


The involvement of Brucella infection in causing abortion was investigated in a breeding female subpopulation of 283 cattle, 756 camels, and 757 goats. Serum samples were serially tested using the Rose Bengal test and complement fixation test. The study showed that anti-Brucella antibodies were prevalent in 10.6% (95% confidence interval (CI), 7.4, 14.9), 2.2% (95%CI, 1.4, 3.7), and 1.9% (95%CI, 1.1, 3.2) of cattle, camel, and goats, respectively. Abortion was more commonly reported in camels (23.4%) than cattle (13.8%) and goats (12.4%). The results of this study suggested that Brucella infections contribute significantly to abortion in cattle (odds ratio (OR),‚ÄČ= 4.7; 95%CI, 2.0, 10.8) and goats (OR = 6.9; 95%CI, 2.2, 21.7) but not in camels. The number of young animals produced by breeding females seems to be apparently reduced in seropositive groups. Keeping more than two animal species at household level was found to be the risk factor for cattle (OR = 3.1; 95%CI, 1.2, 7.9) and camel (OR = 5.3; 95%CI, 1.2-23.5) seropositivity to Brucella infection when compared to those animals from households that keep only two animal species. This may suggest a possibility of cross species transmission of Brucella infection under such mixed herding. Wet season (OR = 4.8; 95%CI, 1.3, 18.1) was found to be associated with seropositivity in goats, linked to a coincidence of increased deliveries in flocks with possible excretion of Brucella organisms. The study results suggest that Brucella infection is the likely cause of abortion in cattle and goats while other causes largely outweigh brucellosis as a cause of abortion in camels in Borana, hence, contributing to reproductive loss.

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