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Risk Factors Associated with Brucella Seropositivity in Sheep and Goats in Duhok Province, Iraq

by Ali. G. Alhamada 1,2,†, Ihab Habib 1,3,*,†, Anne Barnes 1 and Ian Robertson 1,4
College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth 6150, Australia
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Mosul, Mosul 41002, Iraq
High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21516, Egypt
China-Australia Joint Research and Training Center for Veterinary Epidemiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430072, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Chrissanthy Papadopoulou, Vangelis Economou and Hercules Sakkas
Vet. Sci. 2017, 4(4), 65;
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 29 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 7 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food and Waterborne Infections in Animals and Humans)
Sera from 432 small ruminants (335 sheep and 97 goats) from 72 farms in Duhok Province, northern Iraq, were collected to investigate risk factors associated with brucellosis seropositivity. Serum samples were tested using the Rose Bengal test (RBT) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA). Using parallel interpretation, RBT and iELISA results showed that 31.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 26.1, 36.3) of sheep and 34.0% (95% CI: 24.7, 44.3) of goats had antibodies against Brucella in the study area. A random-effects multivariable logistic regression model indicated that a higher chance of being seropositive (odds ratio (OR) = 1.7; 95% 1.4; 2.2) was associated with an increase in the age of animals. The odds of Brucella seropositivity in flocks where sheep and goats grazed together was 2.0 times higher (95% CI: 1.08; 3.9) compared to flocks where sheep and goats grazed separately. The odds of Brucella seropositivity in small ruminants was 2.2 higher (95% CI: 1.2; 4.3) for animals originating from farms with a history of goat abortion in the preceding 12 months. In contrast, for every 1000 Iraqi Dinars (~0.85 US Dollar) spent by the farmers on control of Brucella in their flocks, the odds of Brucella seropositivity decreased significantly (OR = 0.9, p-value = 0.021). The final model also indicated significant differences in Brucella seropositivity between the different districts of Duhok Province. This study provides a contribution to the epidemiology of brucellosis in small ruminants in northern Iraq. View Full-Text
Keywords: brucellosis; small ruminants; abortion; risk factors; Iraq brucellosis; small ruminants; abortion; risk factors; Iraq
MDPI and ACS Style

Alhamada, A.G.; Habib, I.; Barnes, A.; Robertson, I. Risk Factors Associated with Brucella Seropositivity in Sheep and Goats in Duhok Province, Iraq. Vet. Sci. 2017, 4, 65.

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