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Serological evidence of Coxiella burnetii, Leptospira Hardjo, Neospora caninum and bovine pestivirus infections in a dairy cattle herd from the United Arab Emirates
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  • Robert Barigye,
  • Nabeeha Hassan,
  • Dhabia AlQubaisi,
  • Ibrahim Abdalla-Alfaki
Robert Barigye
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Nabeeha Hassan
United Arab Emirates University
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Dhabia AlQubaisi
United Arab Emirates University
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Ibrahim Abdalla-Alfaki
United Arab Emirates University
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Abstract

To date, no epidemiological studies have evaluated bovine abortion in the UAE. Therefore, the present study evaluated the serostatus of five abortigenic agents in a dairy cattle herd from Al Ain region, UAE. Additionally, the association of abortion history with Coxiella burnetii seropositivity was also evaluated. Indirect ELISA screened 350 sera from dairy cattle for C. burnetii, Leptospira Hardjo, Neospora caninum, and Brucella abortus antibodies while a sandwich ELISA tested the samples for bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) antigen. The serological data were summarized by descriptive statistics and the Z test of two proportions applied to assess the statistical significance between the proportions of C. burnetii-seropositive cattle with and without abortion history. Of the 350 cattle, 41.4%, 1.7%, 1.4%, 0.3%, and 0.0% were seropositive to C. burnetii, L. Hardjo, N. caninum, BVDV, and B. abortus respectively. Furthermore, of the 105 cattle with history of abortion, 61.9%, 2.9%, 1.0%, 0.0%, and 0.0% were seropositive to these pathogens respectively. Conversely, of the 245 seropositive cattle with no history of abortion 32.7%, 1.2%, 1.6%, 0.0% and 0.0% were seropositive to these pathogens respectively. Further still, the z-test showed the proportion of C. burnetii seropositive cattle with a history of abortion to be significantly higher than the C. burnetii seropositive animals without abortion history with a difference between the proportions of 29.3% [p-value < 0.01; 95% CI: 18.2% to 40.2%]. Compared to the other four pathogens, the C. burnetii infection level in the dairy herd was relatively higher. As C. burnetii is abortigenic, it may have causally contributed to reproductive failure in the cattle herd. Additional epidemiological studies are needed to further elucidate the abortigenic significance of C. burnetii and the other four pathogens in the national dairy cattle herd. Besides, the public health implications of C. burnetii and Leptospira need to be evaluated.