Bulletin of Animal Health and Production in Africa

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Serological Evidence of Bluetongue Virus Antibodies in Sheep and Goats at Two Rearing Regions of North Somalia

YM Ghanem, AA Saad


To determine the presence and prevalence of bluetongue virus infection in sheep and goats at different geographical regions of North Somalia, a competitive enzyme-linked immune-sorbent assay (cELISA) for the detection of serum antibody against BTV in clinically healthy sheep and goats was carried out in Northern Somalia in two main districts of sheep and goats-rearing regions namely, Togdheer, and Waqoyi Galbed in the period between July 2008 to April 2009. Results for bluetongue infection, herd size, and herd location, mixing with other animal species with various other associations were detected among demographic, husbandry and disease variables. All animals tested were apparently normal without showing clinical signs and without history of any specific clinical signs for BTV infection. Out of 24 (601) sheep/herds investigated, 3 (12.5%) herds were seronegative and 21 (87.5%) were seropositive by cELISA with seroprevalence on herd level ranged from 4.2 % - 42.9 % with a total seroprevalence of both districts 21.8% (n=131). Out of 24 (466) goat/herds investigated, 8 (33.3%) herds were seronegative and 16 (66.7%) were seropositive by cELISA to BT virus infection with seroprevalence ranged from 12.5 % - 38.5 % on herd level with a total district seroprevalence of 16.0 % (n=77). The results of the present investigation indicate that the bluetongue virus exists within the sheep and goat herds. The findings suggest that the disease is widely distributed in most investigated parts of the North Somalia where possible insect vectors may prevail and may suggest disease endimicity which is probably subclinical or in-apparent in sheep and goats of North Somalia. The prevalence differed significantly between herd types but did not show a geographical trend. The results presented here may record the first confirmation of bluetongue virus (BTV) antibody in sheep and goats in North Somalia.

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