Seroprevalence and risk factors of brucellosis in cattle in Gulu and Amuru Districts, Northern Uganda
Kungu, Joseph M.
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A cross-sectional study was conducted in Gulu and Amuru districts in Northern Uganda to establish the seroprevalence of bovine brucellosis, its risk factors and the farmer awareness about the disease. This was prompted by the high number of disease outbreaks in livestock in the Internally Displaced People’s camps (IDPs). Two hundred eighty samples of sera were collected from randomly selected cattle in 40 treatment sites. Detailed information on each sampled animal was collected including; the source of cattle, management systems and the history of abortion. Information on farmer awareness was collected using structured questionnaires, direct observations, and key informants. A total of 80 questionnaires were administered to farmers. The questionnaires were responded to by 2 cattle owners in each site of study. Of the 281 serum samples collected, 280 were tested using Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) and Indirect ELISA Test. The results revealed that 48.7% of the cattle were sero-positive with RBPT and 46.1% with the Indirect ELISA respectively. Despite RBPT detecting more positives, the outcomes of the 2 tests strongly agree (ƙ = 0.9, χ² = 227.5, p = 0.000). Source of cattle, grazing strategies, abortion and disposal of fetal after births were the risk factors associated with brucellosis prevalence. Market and restocking projects as sources of cattle had a strong association with bovine brucellosis in Gulu and Amuru (AOR=1.93). Communally grazed cattle were at a higher risk brucellosis compared to cattle under other systems of management (AOR=4.26). The likelihood of brucellosis occurring in aborted cattle was higher than in those which had not aborted (OR=1.45). Cows that produced and there was no proper disposal of fetal membranes were at a higher risk of the infection (OR=1.24).The findings indicated that the farmers of Gulu and Amuru districts were very knowledgeable of the disease (91.3%,) as well as its clinical manifestations (71.3%) but ignorant about its transmission (30%), control (7.5%) and zoonotic importance (28.8%). In conclusion, it can therefore be perceived that seroprevalence of brucellosis in cattle of Gulu and Amuru is high and may pose a serious public health threat to the farmers and public owing to their low awareness of the transmission, zoonotic importance, and control of the disease.