Open Access

Isolation and Identification of Chlamydia abortus from Aborted Ewes in Sulaimani Province, Northern Iraq


Abortion in small ruminants is a significant problem in Iraq and causes severe economic losses in sheep farms. Chlamydia abortus causes enzootic abortion in ewes and is associated with reproductive problems in sheep in Sulaimani province – Northern Iraq. During a lambing season in 2017, abortion was widespread among several sheep flocks in different regions of Sulaimani (Kalar, Said Sadiq, and Chamchamal), and C. abortus was one of the causes. Accordingly, we carried out this study to isolate and identify C. abortus in aborted ewes in these regions. We collected 30 samples of aborted fetuses from five herds in which abortions had been observed. The pathogen isolation was done by inoculation into embryonated chicken eggs and conventional PCR was used to identify C. abortus in clinical specimens. C. abortus was identified in one of the 30 aborted fetuses (3.33%) from the Kalar district, and all the remaining 29 samples (96.66%) were found positive to Brucella abortus. The gene ompA encoding the outer membrane protein of C. abortus was sequenced and got the accession number MK643153 in NCBI GenBank. The sequence was named C. abortus strain Sul/2017. Our isolate showed 99.79% homology with Sul/014 (accession No. KY399850) and differed from the latter by two amino acid substitutions at E115K and K259N. The topology of the phylogenetic tree based on the ompA gene showed that the isolate belongs to C. abortus and has a common ancestor with isolates of sheep in Iraq and Tunisia with accession numbers KY399850 and HQ62243, respectively.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology