The Development of an Abattoir-Based Surveillance System in Lao PDR for the Detection of Zoonoses in Large Ruminants: Q Fever and Brucellosis Seroepidemiology as a Pilot Study
Siengsanan-Lamont J., Douangngeun B., Theppangna W., Khounsy S., Phommachanh P., Selleck PW., Matsumoto N., Gleeson LJ., Blacksell SD.
<jats:p>Although animal health surveillance programmes are useful for gaining information to help improve global health and food security, these programmes can be challenging to establish in developing economies with a low-resource base. This study focused on establishing a national surveillance system initiated by the Lao PDR government using a passive surveillance system of abattoir samples as a pilot model, and to gain information on contagious zoonoses, particularly Q fever and brucellosis, in the large ruminant population. A total of 683 cattle and buffalo samples were collected from six selected provinces of Lao PDR between March–December 2019. Out of 271 samples tested, six samples (2.2%, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.0, 4.8) were positive in the Q fever antibody ELISA test. Only one sample (out of 683; 0.2%, 95% CI 0.0, 0.8) tested positive to the Brucella antibody ELISA test. Seroprevalence of these important zoonoses in Lao PDR were relatively low in cattle and buffaloes; however, extensive animal movement within the country was identified which could increase risks of spreading transboundary diseases. The study highlights the importance of ongoing animal health surveillance and the need to find cost-effective approaches for its long-term sustainability.</jats:p>