Seroprevalence and molecular characterization of Chlamydia abortus in frozen fetal and placental tissues of aborting ewes in northeastern Algeria
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Enzootic abortion of ewes is one of the most serious health problems in sheep flocks worldwide. It has a significant economic impact because abortion, decrease in milk production and weak lambs. Besides, the bacteria is zoonotic. A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors associated with Chlamydia abortus infection in 552 ewes in Constantine using a C. abortus-specific indirect ELISA kit. Chlamydial DNA was investigated in ten ovine fetuses and eight placentas using PCR- restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequencing. The study concluded that 7.2 % of ewes were seropositive and 33.3 % of sheep flocks had at least one seropositive ewe. Adjacent farmworker visits (OR = 7.667, 95 % CI (OR) = 2.307; 27.203) was defined as a risk factor. Deliveries of weak lambs (OR = 2.920, 95 % CI (OR) = 1.022; 8.342) and septicemia in lambs (OR = 9.971, 95 % CI (OR) = 2.383; 41.713) were significantly associated with chlamydial infection. PCR-RFLP analysis revealed positive signals to C. abortus in six fetuses and four placentas. Sequencing of the omp2 gene revealed that the Algerian strain is 96 % similar with C. abortus FAS strain. C. abortus plays a major role in abortion in northeastern Algeria. Appropriate control measures must be implemented to reduce economic losses and to avoid human contamination.
KeywordsChlamydia abortus Seroprevalence Ewes PCR-RFLP DNA sequencing Algeria
This research has been conducted under the auspices of the Algerian Directorate General for Scientific Research and Technological Development as a National Research Project (code 1/u250/342).
Conflict of interest
None of the authors of this paper has a financial or personal relationship with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence or bias the content of the paper.
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