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Seropositivity and risk factors for Brucella in dairy cows in urban and peri-urban small-scale farming in Tajikistan

Lindahl, Elisabeth, Sattorov, Nosirjon, Boqvist, Sofia, Sattori, Izzatullo, Magnusson, Ulf
Tropical animal health and production 2014 v.46 no.3 pp. 563-569
Brucella, calves, confidence interval, cross-sectional studies, dairy cows, dairy farming, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, farmers, grazing, health hazards, herds, livelihood, odds ratio, public health, regression analysis, reproductive performance, risk factors, seroprevalence, small-scale farming, villages, Tajikistan
In this cross-sectional study, we assessed and mapped the seroprevalence of brucellosis in small-scale dairy farming in an urban and peri-urban area of Tajikistan and investigated factors associated with seropositivity. As urban and peri-urban farming is both an opportunity to improve the livelihood for small-scale farmers and a potential public health hazard, studies are warranted to reveal possible peculiarities in the epidemiology of brucellosis in this type of dairy farming. In total, 904 cows of breeding age belonging to 443 herds in 32 villages were serologically tested with indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and positive samples confirmed with competitive ELISA. Two logistic regression models were used to investigate an association between seropositivity and risk factors at herd and individual level. The herd and individual seroprevalences were 4.1 and 2.0 %, respectively. Herds with a history of abortions were found to be associated with seropositivity [odds ratio (OR) = 5.3; 95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.3–21.3]. Large herds with more than eight cattle were more likely to be seropositive compared to smaller herds with one to two cattle (OR = 13.9; 95 % CI, 1.6–119). The number of calves produced per cow (indicating age) was found to be associated with seropositivity. Younger cows with one to two produced calves were less likely to be seropositive compared to older cows with more than six produced calves (OR = 0.24; 95 % CI, 0.06–1.0). Neither introduction of new cattle to the herd nor communal grazing was associated with seropositivity. This study shows that infection with Brucella (1) is present in small-scale urban and peri-urban dairy farming in Tajikistan and (2) has significant negative effects on reproductive performance in this farming system and (3) that some previously known risk factors for seropositivity in rural farming system were absent here.