Brucellosis in ruminants and pastoralists in Borena, Southern Ethiopia

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Ameni, Gobena 
Assefa, Zerihun 
Berg, Stefan 
Whatmore, Adrian M. 

Brucellosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease that has important veterinary and public health consequences as well as economic impact in sub Saharan Africa including Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted in four selected districts of Borena Pastoral setting in Southern Ethiopia from October 2017 to February 2018 to estimate the prevalence of brucellosis and assess associated risk factors in cattle, sheep, goats and occupationally associated humans. A total of 750 cattle, 882 sheep and goats and 341 human subjects were screened for evidence of brucellosis using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT) with positive results confirmed by Competitive-ELISA(c-ELISA). Structured questionnaires were used for collection of metadata from individual animals, herders and animal attendants to test the association between explanatory and outcome variables. The overall animal level prevalence was 2.4% (95% confidence interval, CI: 1.4–3.7) in cattle, 3.2% (95% CI: 2.1–4.6) in sheep and goats, and 2.6% (95% CI: 1.2–5) in humans occupationally linked to livestock production systems. Herd size, parity, and history of abortion were risk factors associated with Brucella seropositivity (P<0.05) in cattle whereas in sheep and goats the results showed that district, age group, flock size, and history of abortion were significantly associated risk factors with Brucella seropositivity (P<0.05). Assisting calving and presence of seropositive animals in a household (P<0.05) were significantly associated with Brucella seropositivity in humans. Evidence of brucellosis in various animal species and the associated human population illustrates the need for a coordinated One Health approach to controlling brucellosis so as to improve public health and livestock productivity.


Funder: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; funder-id:; Grant(s): ref: BB/L018977/1

Research Article, Biology and life sciences, Medicine and health sciences, People and places
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PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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Public Library of Science