A cross-sectional study based on a planned probabilistic sampling was carried out to estimate animal and flock prevalence of Brucella ovis in rams, as well as to determine risk factors at the flock level. Data regarding the flocks were collected by means of a questionnaire applied on 705 farms in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, using one-stage cluster sampling. From the 705 flocks, 20 (2.5%, CI95%: 2.0-3.1%) had at least one positive ram. At the animal level, out of 1800 rams, 52 were positive (2.89%, CI95%: 0.4-5.3%). Statistical analysis identified the following as risk factors: average age of rams in the flocks (PR: 1.99, CI95%: 1.19-3.32); farms larger than 5 km2 (500ha) on extension area (PR: 7.46CI95%: 2.03-27.43); and the lack of lambing paddocks (PR: 5.56, CI95%: 1.70-18.11). This study provided relevant information for authorities to elaborate plans for the first Brazilian state based B. ovis disease control and eradication program. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study that shows the importance of lambing paddocks in order to keep pre-lambing and lambing ewes away from the rest of the flock, the lack of this infrastructure was considered an important risk factor for B. ovis.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Thanks to all 25 veterinarians and their 25 assistants. These collaborators belong to the SEAPA staff. We also thank veterinarians, Drs. Mauricio Dasso Gauterio, José Galdino and Roberto Azambuja. Part of this study was supported by Fundo de Desenvolvimento e Defesa Sanitária Animal (FUNDESA) .
- Lambing paddocks
- Risk factor