Isolation and characterisation of Brucella melitensis by bacteriological and molecular methods from livestock in North Cyprus

Demirpence M, Saytekin AM, Sareyyupoglu B, Esendal OM (2022): Isolation and characterisation of Brucella melitensis by bacteriological and molecular methods from livestock in North Cyprus. Vet Med-Czech 67, 497–509.

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In this study, the isolation, biotyping and molecular characterisation of Brucella melitensis from cattle, sheep and goats in North Cyprus are reported on. A total of 319 raw milk samples obtained from seropositive dairy livestock (190 cattle, 74 sheep and 55 goats) and tissue samples including the liver, spleen and abomasal contents obtained from 32 aborted foetal samples (5 cattle, 18 sheep and 9 goats) were analysed for the presence and characterisation of the agent. B. melitensis was isolated and identified from 90 out of 319 (28.2%) milk and 19 out of 32 (59.4%) foetal samples by conventional bacteriological methods. Identification of all 109 isolates was confirmed by using real-time PCR with genus and species-specific primers. Following the preliminary identification, 27 selected isolates representing various counties and herds were further analysed by conventional methods. Twenty (74.1%) isolates were identified as B. melitensis biovar 1 and seven (25.9%) were identified as B. melitensis biovar 3. The Bruce-ladder multiplex PCR assay revealed that all the isolates were field strains. The results of the present study confirmed the presence of B. melitensis in livestock including the cattle population in North Cyprus. Even though the majority of the samples came from seropositive cattle, Brucella abortus was not isolated in the study. The results also revealed the potential public health risk of brucellosis in livestock emphasising the need of implementing strict control and eradication strategies against the disease in animal populations in order to protect human health.

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