Seroprevalence of Five Zoonotic Pathogens in Wild Ruminants in Xinjiang, Northwest China

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2020 Dec;20(12):882-887. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2020.2630. Epub 2020 Sep 16.


Wild ruminants are at risk for zoonotic pathogen infection as a result of interactions with domestic animals and humans. One way to assess the level of a wild ruminant disease in a population is to determine the seroprevalence of the pathogen of interest. The objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of five zoonotic pathogens in wild ruminants in Xinjiang, Northwest China. In 2009 and 2011-2015, 258 wild ruminant sera samples were collected from various species. Samples were obtained from 30 Siberian ibexes, 94 goitered gazelles, 6 Tibetan antelopes, 32 argali sheep, 16 roe deer, 20 blue sheep, 56 red deer, and 4 wild yaks, in 10 regions of Xinjiang. Samples were tested using antibodies against Brucella spp., Chlamydophila abortus, Coxiella burnetii, Toxoplasma gondii, and West Nile virus. Seropositivity was detected for all five pathogens, with detection rates of Brucella spp., C. abortus, C. burnetii, T. gondii, and West Nile virus of 2.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.5-4.2%), 6.2% (95% CI, 3.3-9.1%), 7.8% (95% CI, 4.5-11.0%), 2.3% (95% CI, 0.5-4.2%), and 0.8% (95% CI, 0-1.8%), respectively. The level of pathogens differed for different species and different regions. The results indicate that seropositivity to zoonotic pathogens is common among wild ruminants in Xinjiang, Northwest China, with C. burnetii and C. abortus detected at the highest levels. This study provides a baseline for future assessment of spillover events.

Keywords: C. abortus; C. burnetii; seroprevalences; wild ruminants; zoonotic disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / microbiology*
  • Animals, Wild / parasitology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections / veterinary
  • China / epidemiology
  • Ruminants / microbiology*
  • Ruminants / parasitology*
  • Ruminants / virology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / epidemiology
  • West Nile Fever / epidemiology
  • West Nile Fever / veterinary
  • West Nile Fever / virology
  • West Nile virus / isolation & purification
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology*