Associations of veterinary services and farmer characteristics with the prevalences of brucellosis and border disease in small ruminants in Spain

Raul C Mainar-Jaime, Jose A Vazquez-Boland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

We investigated the farm factors associated with the prevalences of brucellosis and border disease (BD) in small-ruminant herds in the Madrid region of Spain. These infections were used as models of diseases of well-known and totally unknown distribution, respectively, to assess the association between the perception of the importance of a given disease on the relative contributions of veterinary services and the farmer's attitudes to its prevention. Sera, farming-management information and data concerning veterinary assistance and farmer characteristics were collected from 60 sheep or goat herds. The overall sero-prevalence of brucellosis was 5.7% (complement fixation) and for BD was 17.9% (ELISA test). The relationship between sero-positivity and the variables in the questionnaire was assessed by multivariable analysis using random-effects logistic-normal regression. 'Availability of veterinary services' was a major protective factor for brucellosis. In contrast, no association with veterinary services was observed for BD, whereas 'membership in a farmers' organization' (a variable associated with good farming practice and animal care) was a protective factor. 'Membership of a farmers' organisation' and two other farmer variables indicative of good husbandry ('youth' and 'schooling') were associated with a lower sero-prevalence of brucellosis in univariable analysis but they did not remain significant in the multivariable model. Our observations suggest that veterinary-activity variables predominate over non-specific protective farm factors related to good husbandry in the case the disease is subject to disease surveillance. This underscores the importance of organized control programs for veterinary services to be effective in terms of animal disease prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1999

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Animal Husbandry
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial/analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral/analysis
  • Border Disease/epidemiology
  • Border Disease/immunology
  • Brucellosis/epidemiology
  • Brucellosis/immunology
  • Brucellosis/veterinary
  • Complement Fixation Tests/veterinary
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay/veterinary
  • Goat Diseases
  • Goats
  • Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases/epidemiology
  • Spain/epidemiology
  • Veterinary Medicine/standards
  • Veterinary Medicine/statistics & numerical data


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