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Abortion and various associated risk factors in dairy cow and sheep in Ili, China

By Xiaoyu Deng, Huan Zhang, Zhiran Shao, Xiaoli Zhao, Qin Yang, Shengnan Song, Zhen Wang, Yong Wang, Yuanzhi Wang, Jinliang Sheng, Chuangfu Chen

Posted 20 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.20.050872

We studied livestock abortion and various associated risk factors in the Ili region of northwest China. Livestock abortion prevalence was estimated and correlated with infections (Brucellosis, Salmonellosis, Mycoplasma and Chlamydia seropositivity) and management (farming type and contact with other herds/flocks) risk factors. The prevalence of cow and sheep abortion induced by Brucella was 76.8% ( P <0.0001) and 84.1% ( P <0.0001), and Mycoplasma caused an estimated 15.5% ( P =0.025) and 17.6% ( P <0.001) abortions, respectively. Abortion-related risk factors included mixed farming (cow P =0.001, sheep P <0.001), contact with other flocks (cow P =0.007, sheep P =0.003), brucellosis positivity (cow P <0.001, sheep P <0.001) and Mycoplasma positivity (cow P =0.031, sheep P <0.001). A total of 2996 serum samples (1402 cow, 1594 sheep) were identified by RBPT (Rose Bengal Plate Test), and they showed the seroprevalence of brucellosis in X county was cow 7.1%, sheep 9.1%; in H county was cow 11.7%, sheep 10.7%; and in Q county was cow 4.2%, sheep 9.1%. The seroprevalence of Mycoplasma in X county was cow 3.4%, sheep 7.9%; in H county was cow 5.3%, sheep 9.9%; and in Q county was cow 2.1%, sheep 4.3%. A total of 54 samples, including aborted cow (22), sheep (30) fetuses and milk samples (2), were identified as Brucella melitensis ( B. melitensis ) positive. A total of 38 Brucella were isolated from 16 aborted cow, 20 sheep fetuses and 2 milk samples. All of these isolates were identified, and confirmed, as B. melitensis. A phylogenetic tree showed that the Brucella isolates closely matched the B. melitensis biovar 3 isolated in Inner Mongolia, China, and B. melitensis isolated from Norway and India. These results suggest that B. melitensis biovar 3 is the main pathogen responsible for cow and sheep abortion and also pose a human health risk. Additionally, livestock reproduction can also be influenced by Mycoplasma infection and managerial factors (farming type and contact with other herds/flocks), especially in remote areas.

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