A serological survey of ruminant livestock in Kazakhstan during post-Soviet transitions in farming and disease control
The results of a serological survey of livestock in Kazakhstan, carried out in 1997--1998, are reported. Serum samples from 958 animals (cattle, sheep and goats) were tested for antibodies to foot and mouth disease (FMD), bluetongue (BT), epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD), rinderpest (RP) and peste des petits ruminants (PPR) viruses, and to Brucella spp. We also investigated the vaccination status of livestock and related this to changes in veterinary provision since independence in 1991. For the 2 diseases under official surveillance (FMD and brucellosis) our results were similar to official data, although we found significantly higher brucellosis levels in 2 districts and widespread ignorance about FMD vaccination status. The seroprevalence for BT virus was 23%, and seropositive animals were widespread suggesting endemicity, despite the disease not having being previously reported. We found a few seropositives for EHDV and PPRV, which may suggest that these diseases are also present in Kazakhstan. An hierarchical model showed that seroprevalence to FMD and BT viruses were clustered at the farm/village level, rather than at a larger spatial scale. This was unexpected for FMD, which is subject to vaccination policies which vary at the raion (county) level.