The Thai Journal of Veterinary Medicine


Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii, an obligate intracellular parasite which causes abortion and reproductive disorders in domestic animals and febrile illness in man. Earlier studies have detected C. burnetii,including serum antibodies in humans, cattle, sheep and goats in Malaysia. However, the overall seroprevalence status and contributing factors of Q fever among small ruminants in Malaysia are still unexplained. This study was therefore conducted to investigate the seroprevalence and risk factors of Q fever among small ruminant flocksin Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu states. To determine the seroprevalence of Q fever among small ruminants, we collected blood samples from a total 272 sheep and goats across six smallholder farms in two states and tested all sera using commercial Sandwich-ELISA kitwith asensitivity of 100% and specificity of 99.6%for the direct detection of specific antibody against Coxiella burnetii. Our results revealed 12.1% (8.77-16.55) apparent prevalence and 11.8% (8.40-16.21) true prevalence of Q fever among individual sheep and goats in the two states. Univariable analysis revealed that states (X2 =10.264: p=0.001), farms (X2 =27.32: p=0.000), gender (X2 =3.908: p=0.048), age (X2 =12.845: p=0.000), breed (X2 =13.435: p=0.004) and production (X2 =8.992: p=0.003) of small ruminants were associated with their Q fever seropositive status. Multivariable logistic regression further revealed 3.972, 12.455 and 11.921 times more likelihood of Q fever in the young, the Barbados Black Belly sheep breed and the meat production animals. In conclusion, the seroprevalence Q-fever in Terengganu and Negeri Sembilan states is associated with the age, breed and the production purpose of small ruminants.



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