Mustafa Sencer Karagul, Mehmet Engin Malal and Kadir Akar
The aim of this study was to investigate Q fever seroprevalence in sheep and goats in the Marmara region. Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. In ruminants, the disease causes reproductive disorders, premature births and stillbirths.
Material and Methods
Blood samples of sheep and goats were collected from the Marmara region of Turkey and a commercial ELISA was used for detection of specific antibodies to C. burnetii. A total of 832 samples (627 from sheep and 205 from goats) obtained from 126 herds located in 110 villages in 63 municipalities across all 11 provinces were utilised.
Total seroprevalence was found to be 13.22%, while the proportion of seropositive herds was determined to be over threefold higher at 42.85%. The seroprevalence for sheep was found to be 14.19%, and for goats 10.24%. The herd seropositivity rate for sheep of 46.31% and for goats of 32.25% were also over threefold higher than the species-level seroprevalences. The provincial seroprevalence varied between 1.38% and 21.79%.
This study confirms the presence of C. burnetii in sheep and goat herds in the Marmara region and provides original seroprevalence data in hitherto uninvestigated provinces. The data gathered are beneficial for evaluation and elaboration of the seroprevalence of Q fever in sheep and goats in the Marmara region. Surveillance studies should be maintained, particularly in provinces with high seropositivity rates.