Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 779–785 | Cite as

Molecular detection of Chlamydophila abortus, Coxiella burnetii, and Mycoplasma agalactiae in small ruminants’ aborted fetuses in southern Iran

  • S. Heidari
  • Abdollah Derakhshandeh
  • R. Firouzi
  • M. Ansari-Lari
  • M. Masoudian
  • V. Eraghi
Regular Articles


Abortion in sheep and goats has become increasingly important worldwide because of the significant economic losses and potential zoonotic implication of commonly involved pathogens. Therefore, this cross-sectional study was conducted in southern Iran to detect the Chlamydophila abortus and Coxiella burnetii, as zoonotic pathogens, and Mycoplasma agalactiae, as a neglected abortifacient agent in small ruminants’ aborted fetuses, by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). From a total of 300 aborted fetuses (183 sheep and 117 goats), 46 samples (15.5%) were positive by PCR, 11% for C. abortus, 2% for C. burnetii, and 3% for M. agalactiae. Also, the association of suggested risk factors with abortion due to these bacterial agents was investigated using univariable and multivariable logistic regression. Results of the statistical analysis showed significant association of C. abortus with flock size (OR = 2.82, P = 0.014), season (P < 0.05), and the number of pregnancy in the aborted dam (OR = 2.5, P = 0.05). Our results indicated that C. abortus has a relatively substantial role in small ruminant abortions, and C. burnetii and M. agalactiae are likely important abortifacient agents in our region, too. Regarding veterinary and/or public health importance of these bacterial agents, more attention from veterinary and/or human health services and, maybe, a surveillance system for control and prevention of them are recommended.


Abortion Chlamydophila abortus Coxiella burnetii Mycoplasma agalactiae Small ruminants 



Authors appreciate the cooperation of Fars Veterinary network for this study. This study was supported by Shiraz University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Heidari
    • 1
  • Abdollah Derakhshandeh
    • 1
  • R. Firouzi
    • 1
  • M. Ansari-Lari
    • 2
  • M. Masoudian
    • 1
  • V. Eraghi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary MedicineShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  2. 2.Department of Food Hygiene and Public Health, School of Veterinary MedicineShiraz UniversityShirazIran

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