Molecular detection of Brucella melitensis, Coxiella burnetii and Salmonella abortusovis in aborted fetuses of Baluchi sheep in Sistan region, south-eastern Iran

Document Type : Short paper


1 Resident of Theriogenology, Department of Theriogenology and Obstetrics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Nutrition and Animal Breeding, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

3 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran


Abortion in sheep and goats causes enormous economic losses. This study revealed the epidemiology of abortion caused by Brucella melitensis, Coxiella burnetii and Salmonella abortusovis in Baluchi sheep in Sistan region. In the autumn of 2015 and winter of 2016, a total of 78 aborted sheep fetuses were collected from all over the Sistan region. Risk factors, including location of livestock, history of abortion, gender of fetus, age of fetus, age of ewe and parity were obtained using a questionnaire. The results showed that 27 fetuses (35%) were infected with these organisms. Infection with B. melitensis, C. burnetii and S. abortusovis were identified respectively in 15 (19.2%), 13 (16.6%) and 1 (1.3%) fetus. Logistic regression analysis showed that infection with B. melitensis in male fetuses is higher than females (OR=3.73, P=0.040), also infection with C. burnetii in ≤2 years’ ewes (OR=0.047, P=0.009) and 2-5 years’ ewes (OR=0.197, P=0.069) is lower than ≥5 years’ ewes.


Asadi, J; Kafi, M and Khalili, M (2013). Seroprevalence of Q fever in sheep and goat flocks with a history of abortion in Iran between 2011 and 2012. Vet. Ital., 49: 163-168.
Atyabi, N; Youssefi, R; Javdani, G; Tavasoli, A; Vojgani, M and Gharegozloo, F (2012). Isolation of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae from aborted lambs in Iran: a case report. Iran. J. Vet. Med., 6: 129-132.
Belloy, L; Decrausaz, L; Boujon, P; Hächler, H and Waldvogel, AS (2009). Diagnosis by culture and PCR of Salmonella abortusovis infection under clinical conditions in aborting sheep in Switzerland. Vet. Microbiol., 138: 373-377.
Beuzon, CR; Schiaffino, A; Leori, G; Cappuccinelli, P; Rubino, S and Casadesús, J (1997). Identification of Salmonella abortusovis by PCR amplification of a serovar-specific IS200 element. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 63: 2082-2085.
Boden, E and Andrews, A (2015). Black’s veterinary dictionary. 22th Edn., UK, Bloomsbury Publishing. P: 1.
Esmaeili, S; Naddaf, SR; Pourhossein, B; Shahraki, AH; Amiri, FB; Gouya, MM and Mostafavi, E (2016). Seroprevalence of brucellosis, leptospirosis, and Q fever among butchers and slaughterhouse workers in south-eastern Iran. PloS one. 10: 1-12.
Firouzi, R (2006). Bacteriological study of abortion in ewes of Shiraz area. J. Vet. Res., 61: 15-17.
García Perez, AL; Astobiza, I; Barandika, JF; Atxaerandio, R; Hurtado, A and Juste, RA (2009). Short communication: investigation of Coxiella burnetii occurrence in dairy sheep flocks by bulk-tank milk analysis and antibody level determination. J. Dairy Sci., 92: 1581-1584.
Gharahkhani, J; Karimi Makhsus, A and Sadeghi, B (2011). Study of bacterial agents of ovine abortion in the Hamedan province. J. Large Anim. Clin. Sci. Res., 5: 9-14.
Khammar, F; Layegh Rafaat, P and Hosseini, M (2015). The most important reasons for the high prevalence of brucellosis in Sistan region. In: International Conference on Sustainable Development With a Focus on Agriculture, Environment and Tourism, Permanent Secretariat of the Conference. Sept.16.2015, Tabriz, Iran.
Knobel, DL; Maina, AN; Cutler, SJ; Ogola, E; Feikin, DR; Junghae, M; Halliday, JE; Richards, AL; Breiman, RF and Cleaveland, S (2013). Coxiella burnetii in humans, domestic ruminants, and ticks in rural western Kenya. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 88: 513-518.
Masala, G; Porcu, R; Daga, C; Denti, S; Canu, G; Patta, C and Tola, S (2007). Detection of pathogens in ovine and caprine abortion samples from Sardinia, Italy, by PCR. J. Vet. Diagn. Invest., 19: 96-98.
Mohammadi, N (2016). A survey of the prevalence of Brucella melitensis, Campylobacter fetus and Chlamydophila abortus induced abortion in sheep flocks in Kalaleh and Gonbad Kavus by PCR. DVM Thesis, University of Zabol, PP: 36-37.
Noakes, DE; Parkinson, TJ and England, GCW (2001). Arthur’s veterinary reproduction and obstetrics. 8th Edn., (reprinted 2008), Philadelphia, USA, Saunders Ltd., P: 68.
Noori Jangi, A (2016). Prevalence and diagnosis of Brucella abortus and Brucella mellitensis in cow’s milk in Zabol city with using the polymerase chain reaction. DVM Thesis, University of Zabol. PP: 75-76.
Sharifi Mood, B; Metanat, M; Moradiyan, A and Alimardani, M (2007). Inappropriate nutritional behaviors and incorrect therapeutic beliefs: important risk factors associated with brucellosis in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Iran. J. Infect. Dis. Trop. Med., 38: 59-62.
Sharifzadeh, A; Doosti, A and Khaksar, Kh (2007). A multiplex PCR for the detection of Brucella spp. and Salmonella abortusovis from aborted ovine fetus in Charmahal va Bakhtyari province. Iran J. Comp. Pathol.,
4: 247-250.
Szeredi, L; Jánosi, S; Tenk, M; Tekes, L; Bozsó, M; Deim, Z and Molnár, T (2006). Epidemiological and pathological study on the causes of abortion in sheep and goats in Hungary (1998-2005). Acta Vet. Hung., 54: 503-515.
Vidić, B; Savić-Jevđenić, S; Grgić, Ž; Bugarski, D and Maljković, M (2007). Infectious abortion in sheep. Biotechnol. Anim. Husb., 23: 383-389.