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Seroconversion to Brucella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in sheep and goats in Dohuk Province, Iraq and its association with pregnancy loss

Al Hamada, A., Habib, I., Bruce, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-3176-2094, Barnes, A.ORCID: 0000-0002-7227-230X and Robertson, I.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752 (2021) Seroconversion to Brucella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in sheep and goats in Dohuk Province, Iraq and its association with pregnancy loss. Animals, 11 (3). Article 836.

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Abstract

In this study, sera from 240 small ruminants (192 sheep and 48 goats) belonging to 12 farms in Dohuk Province, northern Iraq, were collected on two occasions to investigate the incidence risk of seroconversion to Brucella spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. All selected animals were confirmed pregnant (approximately 2 months pregnant) by ultrasound examination at the time of the first blood collection. A second ultrasound examination and blood sampling were undertaken two months after the initial scanning/sampling. Antibodies to Brucella were tested using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA), and the results were interpreted in series. The Latex Agglutination Test (LAT) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) were also used in series to confirm the presence of antibodies to T. gondii. The seroprevalence for Brucella and Toxoplasma increased significantly between the two sampling times (p = 0.0003 and 0.03 in first and second sampling, respectively). The incidence risk of seroconversion to Brucella over the two months was 10.6% (95% CI: 6.9–15.3) and 7.3% (95% CI: 4.3–11.6) for Toxoplasma. Animals that seroconverted to Brucella were 2.9 times more likely to lose their pregnancy (95% CI: 1.6–5.5) than animals that remained seronegative; however, seroconversion to Toxoplasma had no significant impact on loss of pregnancy. This study is the first reported investigation on the association of seroconversion to Brucella and Toxoplasma with the reproductive outcome of pregnant sheep and goats in northern Iraq. Brucellosis and toxoplasmosis continue to negatively impact small ruminants’ reproductive performance and compromising food security in Iraq. It is hoped that this study will assist the development of a better-informed economic model to estimate Brucella and Toxoplasma burden in small animals in northern Iraq, and such a model could be used to validate the impact of various potential intervention programs in.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Food Futures Institute
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Copyright: © 2021 by the Authors
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60107
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