Molecular survey for tick-borne pathogens and associated risk factors in sheep and goats in Kano Metropolis, Nigeria
Onyiche, ThankGod E.
Mofokeng, Lehlohonolo S.
Thekisoe, Matlahane Molifi Oriel
MacLeod, Ewan Thamas
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Tick-borne pathogens (TBPs) pose an increased health and productivity risk to livestock in sub-Saharan Africa. Information regarding TBPs infecting small ruminants in Kano metropolis is scarce. Therefore, we investigated the molecular epidemiology of tick-borne pathogens of economic importance from sheep and goats in Kano, Nigeria using Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A total of 346 blood DNA samples were collected from small ruminants and analyzed for TBPs using PCR and sequencing. Risk of infection was determined for age, sex, breed and animal species. Our results indicate the absence of piroplasmids (Babesia/Theileria) and Rickettsia spp. infections. The overall prevalence for Anaplasma spp. was 9.25% (32/346) with a higher prevalence in goats 13.59% (25/184) compared with sheep 4.32% (7/162). With respect to age of animals, goats >4 years had the highest prevalence of 32.45% (11/37) which differs significantly (P = 0.0059) compared with other age categories. Cross breed goats had a prevalence of 15.63% (5/32) compared with Kano brown breed 14.08 (20/142). Sex significant difference (P = 0.029) was observed in the goats with females having the highest prevalence 20.89% (14/67) compared with males 9.40% (11/117). Furthermore, with regards to sheep, no significant difference (P > 0.05) was observed with respect to age and breed. Finally, no significant difference (P > 0.05) was observed with the prevalence of Anaplasma spp. due to Body condition score (BCS) in both sheep and goats. Conclusively, the occurrence of TBPs in small ruminants is low. Continuous efforts in tick control must be sustained to ensure high productive yield and reduced disease burden associated with TBPs of sheep and goats in Kano metropolis.