Authors: ZELJKO CVETNIC, MAJA ZDELAR-TUK, SANJA DUVNJAK, MIROSLAV BENIC, ZELJKO MIHALJEVIC, BORIS HABRUN, IRENA REIL, MARIJA CVETNIC, SILVIO SPICIC
Abstract: The distribution of infection by the species Brucella ovis in rams and abortion cases in sheep in Croatia was investigated in the period from 2011 to 2015. The investigation relied on serological testing in rams and sheep after abortion conducted using a complement fixation test and immunosorbent assay conducted with bacteriological testing of the testes in seropositive rams and aborted material. Seropositive reactions were confirmed in 1100 (6%) of rams samples and in 12 (2.3%) of ewe samples. Isolated strains were also confirmed on the molecular level. In 10 (45.5%) animals asymmetry of the scrotum and unilateral enlargement of the tail of the epididymis were confirmed. Pathomorphological examination revealed visible changes such as granulomas, fibrosis, and atrophy of the testes and epididymis in 12 (54.5%) ram testes. In bacteriological investigation of samples from 22 rams and fetuses following abortion in ewes, 13 (59.1%) and 2 (14.3%) isolations were performed, respectively. All 15 isolates were identified as Brucella ovis using a molecular method. The results show that infectious epididymitis caused by Brucella ovis is distributed throughout the study area in Croatia. The disease most often spreads through uncontrolled trade or contacts of sheep between flocks, which significantly hinders eradication measures.
Keywords: Brucella ovis, ovine epididymitis, prevalence, multiplex PCR
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