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Title: Identifcation and molecular characterization of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis isolated from milk in cattle in Azerbaijan
Authors: Aliyev, Jeyhun
Alakbarova, Mahnur
Garayusifova, Aytan
Omarov, Asaf
Aliyeva, Saida
Fretin, David
Godfroid, Jacques
Issue Date: 2022
Citation: BMC Veterinary Research
Series/Report no.: Vol. 18;№ 71
Abstract: Background: Azerbaijan currently ranks thirteenth in global incidence of human brucellosis, with an estimated annual incidence through 2000 at over 50 cases per million. Brucella melitensis has been isolated from patients and is thought to have been acquired through contact with small ruminants or as a foodborne infection. To reduce the burden of human brucellosis, the Azerbaijani government began in 2002, a nationwide vaccination control campaign in small ruminants. There is serological evidence of bovine brucellosis (presumably due to Brucella abortus) in Azerbaijan, but no prevalence estimates were available when this study started in March 2017. The aim of this study was to isolate and identify Brucella spp. from cow milk in the Ganja region, where brucellosis takes a heavy toll on humans and livestock. Results: Blood and milk samples were collected from cows (n = 1075) in early lactation (up to 90-days) in farms that had a history of previous positive serological results and abortions. Twenty-two out of 57 milk samples collected from seropositive cows, showed growth on Farrell’s media, when incubated with 5% CO2. Eight additional milk samples showed growth in the absence of CO2. The classical biotyping classified them as Brucella abortus (22) and Brucella melitensis (8). RT-PCR confirmed that strains belonged to the genus Brucella. MLVA profiles were obtained for DNA extracted from two B. abortus and six B. melitensis strains. While the B. abortus genetic profile was described in the MLVA database, matching the profile of B. abortus strains isolated in East Europe, Central Asia and China, we found a new genotype for the B. melitensis strains isolated in Azerbaijan, clustering with strains belonging to the American clade, rarely identified in the region. Conclusion: Despite the implementation of the vaccination program in small ruminants, our results suggest that spill-over events of B. melitensis from small ruminants to cattle have occurred. However, cattle are likely to be primarily infected with B. abortus, which warranted the implementation of a bovine brucellosis program. Such a program started in fall 2017. In the Ganja region, cattle should be considered as a potential source of B. abortus and B. melitensis for humans.
ISSN: 1746-6148
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