Assessment of zoonotic risks associated with ruminant abortions for Algerian farmers

Hamza Khaled, Abdallah Bouyoucef


In ruminant breeding, abortions are responsible for significant economic losses. The zoonotic character of most of the pathogenic agents incriminated in abortions increases the infectious risk for the persons in contact with aborted animals. In order to estimate the magnitude of abortions inruminant livestock and assess their associated zoonotic risks for Algerian breeders, a survey was conducted between 2010 and 2013, in the center of Algeria. A total of 105 exploitations were visited and investigated. A structured questionnaire was administered to breeders and used to collect data from each herd. Information interest abortion characteristics; potential risk factors for zoonosis agents and attitudes of breeders with regards to abortions. Our survey has proved that abortions represent an important phenomenon because they interest 90% of investigated exploitations, with a predominance of ovine specie (56%). The systematic appeal of a veterinarian is lacking in 45% of cases and the isolation of aborted females was observed exclusively in 27% of cases. When handling abortions, only 31% of breeders use professional protection cloths, and still, 29% of farmers don’t get rid of placentas and fetal envelopes. Concerning knowledge on zoonosis diseases, 49% of questioned breeders do not have sufficient information about different pathogen agents and various ways of their transmission. For the present study, we have shown that abortions are a major problem in Algerian livestocks. High exposure of farmers to different microbial agents has been proven and this is related to incorrect husbandry practices. Therefore, the organization of awareness days especially in rural areas, on the interests of the hygiene measures application is required. Our results could make a beneficial contribution for reducing abortions and limit their infectious risks.


zoonosis, abortion, ruminant, farmer

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