Authors: Frederick D. Sagamiko, Ruth L. Mfune, Bernard M. Hang’ombe, Esron D. Karimuribo, Alfred M. Mwanza, Calvin Sindato, John B. Muma
Background: Brucellosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease of public health and economic importance. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Mbeya region between November 2015 and January 2016 to investigate the seroprevalence of human brucellosis and identify associated risk factors among individuals in risky occupations.
Methods: A total of 425 humans from six occupational categories were serially tested for Brucella antibodies using the Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) and competitive Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (c-ELISA), for screening and confirmation, respectively. A questionnaire survey was also administered to participants to collect epidemiological data.
Results: The overall seroprevalence among the occupationally exposed individuals was 1.41% (95% CI: 00.64-3.12). Seroprevalence was higher among butcher men 5.6% (95% CI: 1.68-5.26), herds men 1.35% (95% CI: 0.18-9.02); and abattoir workers 1.1% (95% CI: 0.26-4.22) although there was no statistical significance. (P value = .18). Seroprevalence was also higher among men (1.8%) compared to females (0%) (P value = .19). and also, among those aged < 11 years (2.5%). Individuals who consumed raw milk had a higher seroprevalence (1.56%) compared to those who drunk boiled milk while seropositivity was 0.88% among those who assisted animals during parturition (P value = .49). Butcher men were at higher risk of exposure compared to other occupational categories. Our findings show the presence of brucellosis in occupationally exposed individuals in Mbeya region.
Conclusion: There is need to sensitize the concerned professions in order to reduce the risk of acquiring Brucella infections from animals and animal products This also calls for public health awareness about the disease, and implementation of measures to prevent further spread of brucellosis within and outside the study area.