Epidemiology and associated risk factors for brucellosis in small ruminants kept at institutional livestock farms in Punjab, Pakistan
Brucellosis is reportedly endemic in ruminants in Pakistan. Both Brucella abortus and B. melitensis infections have been decumented in domestic animals and humans in the country. This study aimed to identify the burden of anti-Brucella antibodies in small ruminants as well as associated potential risk factors with its occurrence at nine institutional livestock farms in Punjab, Pakistan. The sera collected from equal number of sheep and goats (500 from each species) were screened by indirect-ELISA for anti-smooth-Brucella antibodies followed by a serial detection by real-time PCR. Overall, 5.1% (51/1000) seropositivity was registered corresponding to 5% (25/500) prevalence in goats and 5.2% (26/500) in sheep. Brucella-DNA could not be detected in any of the tested sera by real-time PCR. Multiple logistic regression model indicated that farm location (OR 34.05), >4 years of age (OR 2.88), with history of reproductive disorders (OR 2.69), and with BCS of ≤ 3 (OR 12.37) were more likely to test positive for brucellosis at these farms. A routine screening, stringent biosecurity, and quarantine measures are warranted for monitoring and eradication of the infection. Similarly, isolation and molecular investigation of the etiologic agent(s) are needed to understand the relationship of epidemiology and out-breaks of brucellosis in the country.