Seroprevalence and risk factors of Bovine Brucellosis in Dairy and Traditional Cattle Herds in Kabaha District of Tanzania

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Rubegwa, Bachana Ammeckson
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The University of Zambia
Brucellosis is a highly contagious bacterial zoonotic disease that affects domestic animals, wildlife, humans and marine mammals. A cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors of bovine brucellosis in dairy and traditional cattle herds in Kibaha district of Tanzania. Forty nine cattle herds were selected by simple random sampling among traditional and commercial dairy herds. All sera samples were initially screened by Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) antigen and those found positive were re-tested and confirmed using Competitive Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (c-ELISA) test. A questionnaire was administered to cattle farmers in order to identify risk factors associated with brucella seropositivity while a data collection sheet was used to capture bio-data for all individual animals that were sampled. The agreement between the RBPT and c-ELISA tests results was assessed using the Kappa statistic test. The association between each categorical risk factor and the outcome variable (brucella seropositivity) was assessed using Pearson chi-square test while the logistic regression was performed to estimate the multiple effects of predictor variables on the outcome variable. A total of 388 cattle serum samples were collected from 46 traditional and 3 dairy herds. From these herds, 330 traditional and 58 dairy cattle were screened, comprising 366 females and 22 males. The overall individual cattle prevalence of brucella antibodies was 5.9% (95% CI: 3.6-8.3) while herd level prevalence was estimated at 34.7% (95% CI: 20.9 - 48.5) based on c-ELISA test results. There were no brucella antibodies detected in the dairy cattle herds. There was no significant difference in brucellosis prevalence between females (6.0%) and males (4.5%) (P=0.741). On the other hand, history of abortion (OR=6.8; P=0.002), breed type (OR=8.3; P=0.008) and source of animal (OR=6.2; P=0.043) were significantly associated with brucella seropositivity. This study also revealed 85% (42/49) of agro-pastoral households were not aware of the zoonotic risks of bovine brucellosis. The study found a relatively higher prevalence of brucellosis in 46 traditional cattle herds compared to 3 dairy farm herds and identified three possible risk factors that should be considered in designing interventions. Annual vaccination of young female calves (3-6 months of age), raising community awareness on brucellosis transmission and zoonotic risks associated with brucellosis in animals and the use of RBPT test for detecting brucella infected herds are recommended in the study area
Veterinary Parasitology-Kibaha, Tanzania , Communicable Diseases in Animals-Kibaha, Tanzania , Brucellosis in Cattle