Sero-Epidemiology of Q Fever (Coxiellosis) in Small Ruminants Kept at Government Livestock Farms of Punjab, Pakistan
Coxiellosis, a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii, acts as a major trade barricade and adversely affects the productive and reproductive capabilities of animals. This study was planned to investigate the sero-prevalence of Coxiellosis and its relationship with some important risk factors in small ruminants kept at nine government livestock farms of Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 1000 blood samples (500 each from goats and sheep) were collected from animals kept at the respective livestock farms. An indirect-Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (iELISA) was used to detect anti-C. burnetii antibodies in the serum. Serological analysis revealed overall flock-level sero-prevalence of 92.3% which varied from 88.88% in sheep and 100% in goat, while individual level sero-prevalence was 15.6% in sheep and 15.0% in goats, the difference being non-significant. A significant (P<0.05) association was found between seropositivity against C. burnetii and variables like livestock farm, type of farming, region (locality of farm), presence of ticks, animal health status and season of sampling. In conclusion, the study indicates the occurrence of antibodies to C. burnetii at the government livestock farms included in the study.