Prevalence of brucellosis in dairy cattle from the main dairy farming regions of Eritrea.
Abstract: In order to get a reliable estimate of brucellosis prevalence in Eritrean dairy cattle, a cross-sectional study was carried out in 2009. The survey considered the sub-population of dairy cattle reared in modern small- and medium-sized farms. Samples were screened with the Rose Bengal test (RBT) and positive cases were confirmed with the complement fixation test (CFT). A total of 2.77%(417/15 049; Credibility Interval CI: 2.52% – 3.05%) of the animals tested in this study were positive for antibodies to Brucellaspecies, with a variable and generally low distribution of positive animals at regional level. The highest seroprevalence was found in the Maekel region (5.15%; CI: 4.58% – 5.80%), followed by the Debub (1.99%; CI: 1.59% – 2.50%) and Gash-Barka (1.71%; CI: 1.34% – 2.20%) regions. Seroprevalence at sub-regional levels was also generally low, except for two sub-regions of Debub and the sub-region Haicota from the Gash-Barka region. Seroprevalence was high and more uniformly distributed in the Maekel region, namely in the Asmara, Berik and Serejeka sub-regions. Considering the overall low brucellosis prevalence in the country, as identified by the present study, a brucellosis eradication programme for dairy farms using a test-and-slaughter policy would be possible. However, to encourage the voluntary participation of farmers to the programme and to raise their awareness of the risks related to the disease for animals and humans, an extensive public awareness campaign should be carefully considered, as well as strict and mandatory dairy movement control.
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