Risk factors associated with seropositivity to Toxoplasma among sheep and goats in Northern Iraq

Ali Al Hamada, Ihab Habib, Anne Barnes, Ian Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Serum samples from 423 small ruminants (335 sheep and 97 goats) from 72 farms in 6 districts in the province of Dohuk, north Iraq, were tested for the presence of antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using a latex agglutination test (Latex) and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA). When the test results were interpreted in parallel, 42.1% (95% confidence interval (CI): 36.7, 47.7) of sheep and 36.1% (95% CI: 26.6, 46.5) of goats were found to have antibodies against Toxoplasma. A multivariable logistic regression model was developed to determine the risk factors for Toxoplasma seropositivity in small ruminant flocks. Factors which increased the risk of infection included the presence of cats near the feed of animals (Odds ratio (OR) = 6.3; 95% CI 1.6, 24.6) and a history of abortions in sheep in the preceding 12 months (OR = 13.4; 95% CI 2.1; 86.7). For every ten goats aborting in the preceding 12 months the odds of seropositivity increased significantly (OR = 6.7; 95% CI 1.3; 32.9). Results of the regression model indicate that for every 1000 Iraqi Dinars (~0.85 USD) spent by the farmers on prophylactic treatment in their flocks the odds of Toxoplasma seropositivity decreased significantly (OR = 0.94; 95% CI 0.90, 0.98). This study contributes to the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis in small ruminants in northern Iraq.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100264
JournalVeterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Goats
  • Iraq
  • Risk factors
  • Sheep
  • Toxoplasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary


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