Leptospirosis as the most frequent infectious disease impairing productivity in small ruminants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Abstract

Despite the importance of small ruminants breeding in developing countries, milk/meat productivity remains unsatisfactory. Infectious diseases, such as leptospirosis, brucellosis, and small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs), contribute to this scenario. The objective of the present study was to determine the role of each of these diseases in the productivity of small ruminants breeding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In goats, 343 samples were tested for leptospirosis, 560 for Brucella abortus, and 506 for caprine arthritis-encephalitis (CAE), whereas in sheep, 308 samples were tested for leptospirosis, 319 for B. abortus, 374 for Brucella ovis, and 278 for Maedi-Visna (MV). Regarding leptospirosis, 25.9% of goats and 47.4% sheep were seroreactive, with serovar Hardjo the most prevalent in both species. Anti-B. abortus agglutinins were found in 0.7% of all samples, exclusively in goats. In relation to SRLVs, 8.6% of goats and 3.2% of sheep samples were positive for CAE and MV, respectively. Leptospirosis was the major infectious problem in the small ruminants sampled and may contribute to impaired productivity of these animals.

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Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful for critical reviews and suggestions by Prof. Dr. John Kastelic. WL is a CNPq fellow, and this study was supported by FAPERJ (E-26/111.563/2008) and CNPq.

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Correspondence to Walter Lilenbaum.

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Martins, G., Penna, B., Hamond, C. et al. Leptospirosis as the most frequent infectious disease impairing productivity in small ruminants in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Trop Anim Health Prod 44, 773–777 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11250-011-9964-4

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Keywords

  • Leptospirosis
  • Productivity
  • Seroprevalence
  • Diagnosis
  • Small ruminants