The role of Brucella abortus strains in the abortion etiology of domestic ruminants in the Cukurova region, Turkey and molecular epidemiological characteristics

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ASLAN S., Kandemir T., Uprak N. S., Nagiyev T.

Türk Hijyen ve Deneysel Biyoloji Dergisi, vol.80, no.2, pp.201-212, 2023 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 80 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.5505/turkhijyen.2023.35033
  • Journal Name: Türk Hijyen ve Deneysel Biyoloji Dergisi
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.201-212
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Brucellosis caused by bacteria of the Brucella genus is a globally important zoonotic disease. B. abortus, which usually causes abortion and infertility in cows, can cross-infect ruminants and also cause chronic disease in humans. Controlling outbreaks in ruminants is essential to prevent economic losses and human disease due to bovine brucellosis. Since classical phenotypic methods alone are insufficient in monitoring epidemic strains of B. abortus, genotypic surveillance has become crucial today. We aimed to determine the role of B. abortus strains in the abortion etiology of domestic ruminants in the Cukurova region, Türkiye, reveal the phylogenetic relationships of the isolated strains using molecular methods and examine the availability of these methods in this field. Methods: One hundred eighteen abortion samples were included in the study. Following the isolation and identification of B. abortus, the clonal relationship between these isolates was investigated by Pulse-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and Multi-Locus Variable Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) methods. Results: B. abortus was detected in 17 (14.4%) of 118 abortion cases examined. The distribution of B. abortus isolates among cattle, goats and sheep was 72.2% (13/18), 5.9% (3/51) and 2.0% (1/49), respectively. The 14 (82.4%) of B. abortus isolates were biovar 3. A single cluster and four pulsotypes (HGDI=0.5662) were determined by the PFGE, five types (HGDI=0.6838) by the MLVA-16, and six genotypes (HGDI=0.7132) by evaluating these two methods together. Genotype 1, which consists of nine (52.9%) isolates, six obtained from cattle and three from goats, was predominant. Conclusion: Although the discriminative powers of the PFGE and MLVA methods were not high enough when a small number of samples were examined, the discriminatory power of MLVA-16 was determined to be higher than PFGE in determining the regionally predominant B. abortus genotypes. Moreover, the use of both together was even more effective. Since using the two methods together in epidemiological studies requires additional costs and effort, it was concluded that the predominant genotypes could be determined, especially during epidemic periods and evaluated in vaccine studies. Additional examination of human clinical specimens in epidemic areas will further strengthen the results to be obtained. Thus, our study will provide essential data for the studies to be performed in order to control brucellosis outbreaks, which constitute a serious public health problem.