Serological evidence of caprine arthritis encephalitis in North Shewa Zone, Ethiopia: Clinical case analysis

Introduction: Caprine arthritis encephalitis (CAE) is a chronic debilitating and economically important viral disease of goats. It is mainly manifested as encephalitis in kids and polyarthritis in adult goats. The present study was conducted to determine the rate of morbidity and mortality due to clinical diseases attributed to infection by Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) and to determine the serological status of CAEV in goat in North Shewa, Ethiopia. Methods: A cross-sectional serological study and a longitudinal clinical case study were conducted. A total of 257 serum samples have been collected from apparently health and clinical cases attributed to CAE infection and tested with the usage of indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to screen antibodies against CAE. Records have been statistically analyzed by using the chi-square test. Results: During five consecutive years of longitudinal clinical study, a total of 195 clinical diseases of chronic pneumonia, nerve problems, clinical mastitis, and arthritis occurred with prevalence of 99 (50.8%), 57 (29.2%), 27 (13.9%), and 12 (6.2%), respectively. Chronic pneumonia was the highest cause of goat morbidity (50.8%) and mortality (100.0%). Of the total samples tested from clinical cases, 7 (58.3%) were sero-positive for the presence of antibodies against CAEV. The overall seroprevalence of CAE was 4.7%. There has been a significant difference (p < 0.05) in sero-positivity among management system, breeds, and age groups of goats. However, there was no significant variation in sero-positivity between the sexes (p > 0.05) of goats. Conclusion: This finding indicates that CAEV infection exists in the goat flocks in examined localities in Ethiopia. This disease poses serious animal health problems that constrain production with the presence of apparent clinical signs. Further investigations need to be done to explore the seroconversion of CAEV in small ruminants and the associated factors to plan an appropriate eradication program and prevent transmission.