Prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis among livestock with history of abortion in Ibuje, Apac District, Uganda
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Brucellosis is one of the endemic zoonotic diseases in Uganda and of a great public health and economic significance world wide. Because of the associated abortion, the disease causes high economic losses to livestock farmers. Communal grazing systems can perpecuate the disease in the different mixing herds. This is due to continous exposure of healthy animals to infection. The endemic nature can predispose humans who consume milk to the disease especially those that take raw milk. A cross-sectional epidemiological study was carried out to estimate the seroprevalence, risk factors, peoples knwoledge, attitude and practices associated with brucellosis in cattle, goats and sheep with history of abortion in Ibuje sub-county, Apac district in Northern Uganda. A total of 134 blood samples were collected, 78 from cattle and 56 from goats and sheep with a history of abortion. The sera were analysed using Rose-Bengal test (RBT) and positive sera were subjected to Slow Agglutination Test with reducing serum volume upto a threefold to confirm seropositivity. The overall cattle individual-level and herd-level sero-prevalence was 10.3% (8/78, 95% CI: 5.3-19%) and 27.3% (6/22, 95% CI: 13.1-48.2%), respectively. There was no brucellosis sero-positive animal in all the fifty six goats and sheep sampled. Introducing new cattle to the farm was found to be significantly associated with sero-positivity (OR: 7.1, CI: 8-68% with a P-value of 0.022). This suggests a continuous need to screen new animals for brucellosis before their introduction into the farm. Majority of cattle, goats and sheep farmers had not heard about brucellosis and did not know about prevention of the disease. A substantial number of cattle owners took raw milk while less number of goats and sheep owners would take raw milk. Most of the cattle farmers would assist their animals during delivery while a few goats and sheep owners would assist their animals during delivery. Removing retained placenta was practiced by majority of the farmers and all were having history of relapsing fever in their homes.