Serological prevalence and associated risk factors of Salmonella gallinarum in commercial chickens in Benue State, Nigeria
Fowl typhoid caused by S. Gallinarum is an acute septiceamic bacteria disease of economic importance to poultry worldwide. A cross sectional study was carried out to establish the sero-prevalence and associated risk factors of S. Gallinarum in commercial chickens in Makurdi, Gboko and Otukpo local Government areas of Benue State from March to July 2015. Five hundred and eighty eight (588) blood samples were randomly collected from chickens and tested for S. Gallinarum antibodies using Serum plate agglutination test. Direct flock observation, and a short structured questionnaire administered in forty nine (49) flocks was used to collate data on poultry farms, to identify risk factors associated with Salmonella infections in chickens. The overall sero-prevalence established using serum plate agglutination test was 16.7% (98/588). Using a univariate logistic analysis, factors significantly associated with Salmonella infections at p < 0.05 were presence of other birds in poultry farms (OR = 7.2; 95 % CI = 1.9334 26.8181), movement of farm attendant from one pen to another (OR = 4.5; 95 C.I = 1.3034 – 15.6602), presence of other farm animals and rodents (OR=2.8000 0.6649-11.7915). Effective equipment washing and disinfection and the use of foot bath with disinfectant when entering poultry house significantly reduced the risk of testing positive for Salmonella in chickens (p < 0.05). In conclusion, this study established the seroprevalence and identified risk factors associated with S. Gallinarum infections in chickens in three major towns of Benue State. Therefore, to prevent Salmonella infections in commercial chickens, proper implementation of biosecurity measures, hygiene practices and rodents control in poultry farms are recommended.
Keywords: Serological prevalence, S. Gallinarum, chickens, Salmonella infection and risk factors