Biosecurity and geospatial analysis of mycoplasma infections in poultry farms at Al-Jabal Al-Gharbi region of Libya
Geospatial database of farm locations and biosecurity measures are essential to control disease outbreaks. A study was conducted to establish geospatial database on poultry farms in Al-Jabal Al-Gharbi region of Libya, to evaluate the biosecurity level of each farm and to determine the seroprevalence of mycoplasma and its relation to biosecurity level. A field team of 7 Veterinarians belongs to the National Center of Animal Health was assigned for data recording and collection of blood samples. Personal information of the producers, geographical locations, biosecurity measures and description of the poultry farms were recorded. The total number of poultry farms in Al-Jabal Al-Gharbi Region is 461 farms distributed in 13 cities. Out of these, 102 broiler farms and one broiler breeder farm (10 houses) which were in operation during team visit were included in this study. Following collection of blood, sera were separated and tested by Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the presence of antibodies against Mycoplasma (General antigen for M. gallisepticum and M. synoviae). The seroprevalence of Mycoplasma in the region was 28% (29 poultry farms out of 103 were infected). About 50% (23 out of 47) of poultry farms located in Garian city were infected with Mycoplasma and one significant cluster of Mycoplasma infection in the city was identified. Low level of biosecurity was found in poultry farms of the region. Out of the 103 farms included, 63% of poultry houses has a ground of soil and 44% of them has uncoated walls which may influence the proper cleaning and disinfection. Almost 100% of the farms are at risk of exposure to diseases transmitted by wild birds such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease due to absence of wild birds control program. Although, 81% of the farms have entry restrictions, only 20% have disinfectants at entry which increase the risk of exposure to pathogens. The results of this study highlight the weakness points of biosecurity measures in poultry farms of Al-Jabal Al-Gharbi region and high seroprevalence of mycoplasma. Data collected in this study will assist the Veterinary authorities to apply effective disease control strategies.
Keywords: Biosecurity, Geospatial analysis, Mycoplasma, Poultry.