Original Research

Seroprevalence and associated risk factors of bovine neosporosis in the Khomas region of Namibia

Alaster Samkange, Simbarashe Chitanga, Georgina N. Tjipura-Zaire, Vimanuka G. Mutjavikua, Jan W. Smith, Luis Neves, Tshepo Matjila
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 90, No 1 | a2077 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v90i1.2077 | © 2023 Alaster Samkange, Simbarashe Chitanga, Georgina N. Tjipura-Zaire, Vimanuka G. Mutjavikua, Jan W. Smith, Luis Neves, Tshepo Matjila | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 September 2022 | Published: 05 April 2023

About the author(s)

Alaster Samkange, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Production Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Simbarashe Chitanga, Department of Veterinary Pre-Clinical, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia; and, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia; and, School of Life Sciences, College of Agriculture, Engineering and Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Georgina N. Tjipura-Zaire, Directorate of Veterinary Services, Windhoek, Namibia
Vimanuka G. Mutjavikua, Department of Production Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Jan W. Smith, Department of Production Animal Clinical Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, University of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia
Luis Neves, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa; and, Centro de Biotecnologia, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique
Tshepo Matjila, Department of Veterinary Tropical Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

Neospora caninum is a coccidian parasite that occurs worldwide and is one of the most important causes of abortion, especially in cattle. However, no studies have been performed in Namibia to determine the N. caninum status in livestock. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of N. caninum in cattle and the associated risk factors in the Khomas region of Namibia. A total of 736 sera were collected from cows in 32 farming establishments. These comprised 698 beef and 38 dairy cattle sera and were tested using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Questionnaires were concurrently administered to determine possible risk factors associated with N. caninum seropositivity. A total of 42 sera were positive (all beef), giving an animal-level seroprevalence rate of 5.7%. Eight of the 32 establishments had at least one positive animal, giving a herd-level seroprevalence of 25%. There was no significant association between seropositivity and the presence of dogs, jackals, history of abortions, farm size, number of cattle or average annual rainfall. The establishments with moderate to high numbers of Feliformia were 9.8 times more likely to be seropositive to N. caninum than those with none to low levels of the former (p = 0.0245). The authors concluded that the seroprevalence level of N. caninum in the Khomas region was relatively low compared with other parts of the world and that the role of Feliformia in the epidemiology of bovine neosporosis needed to be further investigated.

Contribution: Serological evidence of bovine neosporosis and the associated risk factors are reported in Namibia for the first time. This study contributes to the scientific body of knowledge on N. caninum in Africa, which is currently limited.


Keywords

seroprevalence; cows; risk factors; N. caninum; Khomas; Namibia

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 1: No poverty

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