A survey was conducted to evaluate farmer’s awareness on caprine abortion and the occurrence of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis in flocks in the arid zone of Nigeria. The survey revealed that 80% of the flocks studied had a mean kidding rate of 3 per 2 years, while 19% had a rate of 1 per year. The result also showed that 47% of the farmers use deep burial, 11% discards aborted materials freely, only 3% of farmers burn the foetuses and 15% do not bother at all. The survey further revealed that 42% of farmers seek veterinary assistance, 30% employ the use of local remedies, while 10% were not aware of the availability of veterinary care. Of the 250 blood samples screened, the result showed that 3.2 and 5.6% of the samples were positive for antibodies against B. melitensis antigen using Rose Bengal plate test (RBPT) and complement fixation test (CFT), respectively. Whereas, 1.6 and 3.2% tested positive for antibodies against B. abortus antigen with RBPT and CFT respectively at a titre level >10. The results also demonstrate the superiority of the CFT over the RBPT. Sex predisposition was particularly not significant (P< 0.05) in this study. There was a moderate level of awareness among farmers in this area and considerable low reproductive efficiency in goats as a consequence of poor kidding rates. The study identified farmer education as a possible risk factor for caprine abortion and lowered fertility. It was concluded that caprine brucellosis is still endemic in Nigeria and that B. abortus antibodies exist in goats, thus underscoring the need to separate goats from cattle during grazing or housing.
Key words: Abortion, Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis, goats, Nigeria.
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