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Camelus dromedarius brucellosis and its public health associated risks in the Afar National Regional State in northeastern Ethiopia

Bekele, Wesinew Adugna, Tessema, Tesfaye Sisay, Melaku, Simenew Keskes
Acta veterinaria scandinavica 2013 v.55 no.1 pp. 89
Brucella, brucellosis, questionnaires, zoonoses, public health, humans, seroprevalence, antibodies, herd size, regression analysis, complement fixation tests, risk factors, control methods, surveys, Camelus dromedarius, screening, cross-sectional studies, pathogens, Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: A cross-sectional study was carried out in four districts of the Afar region in Ethiopia to determine the prevalence of brucellosis in camels, and to identify risky practices that would facilitate the transmission of zoonoses to humans. This study involved testing 461 camels and interviewing 120 livestock owners. The modified Rose Bengal plate test (mRBPT) and complement fixation test (CFT) were used as screening and confirmatory tests, respectively. SPSS 16 was used to analyze the overall prevalence and potential risk factors for seropositivity, using a multivariable logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: In the camel herds tested, 5.4% had antibodies against Brucella species, and the district level seroprevalence ranged from 11.7% to 15.5% in camels. The logistic regression model for camels in a herd size > 20 animals (OR = 2.8; 95% CI: 1.16-6.62) and greater than four years of age (OR = 4.9; 95% CI: 1.45-16.82) showed a higher risk of infection when compared to small herds and those ≤ 4 years old. The questionnaire survey revealed that most respondents did not know about the transmission of zoonotic diseases, and that their practices could potentially facilitate the transmission of zoonotic pathogens. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study revealed that camel brucellosis is prevalent in the study areas. Therefore, there is a need for implementing control measures and increasing public awareness in the prevention methods of brucellosis.