Seroprevalence estimation and management factors associated with high herd seropositivity for Babesia bovis in commercial dairy farms of Puerto Rico
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A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine individual cow seroprevalence of Babesia bovis in adult lactating dairy cattle of Puerto Rico (PR), to assess the associations of farm management factors on herd seroprevalence, and to document the species of ticks infesting cattle within these farms. Antibody activity against B. bovis was determined using an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Serum samples were obtained from 2,414 adult lactating dairy cattle from 76 randomly selected commercial dairy farms. Herd seroprevalence ranged from 0 to 51% with an overall individual cow seroprevalence for B. bovis of 26%. Ticks were collected from animals on 7 (9%) of the 76 participating commercial dairy farms. All collected ticks (n = 87) were Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus. Factors associated with high herd seropositivity were dairy farms with calf but not heifer raising facilities (OR = 16, 95% CI = 3.0-86), having more than 4 neighbors with cattle (OR = 17, 95% CI = 1.6-178), same producer owning more than one farm (OR = 7.2, 95% CI = 1.6-32), and use of government services to apply amitraz on cattle (OR = 5.5, 95% CI = 1.5-20).
KeywordsCattle Babesia bovis Management factors Boophilus Puerto Rico
Authors want to thank the faculty and staff of the School of Agriculture at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, the Agriculture Experiment Station, and the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Dr. Gabriel González-Calderín for providing the facilities, and equipment to carry out the fieldwork in Puerto Rico. This material is based on research supported by United States Department of Agriculture/ Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service Grant No. 2005-34135-18020 in Tropical/Subtropical Agriculture Research, Fondo para el Fomento de la Industria Lechera de Puerto Rico, and the Colegio de Médicos Veterinarios de Puerto Rico.
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