A cross-sectional sero-epidemological study was conducted in two districts of the Bench Maji Zone, Southwestern Ethiopia between November 2007 and February 2008 with the objective of determining the seroprevalence of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in cattle and identifying the potential risk factors associated with the disease. Sera samples were collected from a total of 273 cattle in 98 herds. The sera were submitted to the National Veterinary Institute (NVI), Debre zeit, Ethiopia for screening using the 3ABC-ELISA. The overall seroprevalence of FMD was 12.08% (n=273). Significantly higher seroprevalence (20%) was recorded in the Surma district compared to the Semen Bench district (5.88%). Peasant associations (equivalent to villages in a district) had prevalence rates of 25, 20, 15, 8.16, 5.66 and 3.92% for Kibish, Tulgit, Koka, Aman, Mizan and Temenja-yasz respectively. From the various risk factors analyzed peasant associations, cross boundary movement and herd size were seen to be statistically associated (p<0.05) with the seroprevalence of FMD. There was no significant variation in seroprevalence among sex, age and herd type. The result of the present study showed that FMD is an important cattle disease in the study area. Thus, an appropriate control strategy has to be designed and applied which could involve regulation of transboundary cattle movement and vaccination using the circulating virus strain.
Key words: Bench Maji zone, cattle, FMD, risk factors, sero-epidemiology.
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