ABSTRACT

This large-scale cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence, geographical distribution, and risk factors for the presence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii in bulk tank milk derived from dairy cattle, sheep, and goats in Jordan. Bulk milk samples were collected from 78 dairy cattle, 48 sheep, and 23 goat farms from various places in Jordan according to the density of these animal species in each region of the country. The samples were tested for C. burnetii antibodies using the CHEKIT Q-Fever Antibody ELISA kit. A standardized questionnaire was also used to collect data from each farm to identify and rank the risk factors for the presence of C. burnetii antibodies. The results revealed that 62.9% (95% confidence interval: 55.1 to 70.0%) of the tested ruminant farms were positive for C. burnetii antibodies. Positive results were obtained from 70.9% (60.6 to 79.5%) of dairy cattle farms, 52.1% (38.3 to 65.5%) of sheep farms, and 56.0% (37.1 to 73.3%) of goat farms. Six factors were associated with the presence of these antibodies on cattle farms, and five factors were associated with these antibodies on sheep and goat farms (chi-square test). The multivariate logistic regression model revealed that large dairy cattle farms, farms that add new animals to the herd, farms that infrequently clean the feeders, and farms in particular areas are 28.6, 19.9, 8.0, and 6.4 times more likely, respectively, to have animals with C. burnetii antibodies. Sheep and goat farms that mix their animals with those from other farms, graze more than 5 km, and infrequently sanitize the feeders were 8.0, 0.06, and 13.6 times more likely, respectively, to have animals with C. burnetii antibodies. These data reveal the widespread exposure of Jordanian ruminants to C. burnetii and suggest a high risk for public health.

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