Article history: Received: 06-03-2018, Accepted: 19-07-2018, Published online: 27-08-2018
Corresponding author: Emmanuel Okechukwu Njoga
E-mail: email@example.comCitation: Ekere SO, Njoga EO, Onunkwo JI, Njoga UJ (2018) Serosurveillance of Brucella antibody in animals and role of slaughterhouse workers in spread of Brucella infection in Southeast Nigeria, Veterinary World, 11(8): 1171-1178.
Aim: The study was carried out to determine the seroprevalence of Brucella antibody in slaughter cattle and goats; and the role of slaughterhouse workers (SHWs) in spread of Brucella infection during slaughterhouse operations in Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: Rose Bengal plate test was used to screen for Brucella antibody in 484 cattle and 340 goats slaughtered for human consumption in the state. Structured and pretested questionnaire was used to elicit information from randomly selected SHWs, on socioeconomic characteristics, awareness of brucellosis and involvement in practices that aid dissemination of Brucella infection during slaughterhouse operations.
Results: Suspected seroprevalence of 2.5% and 4.1% were recorded for Brucella antibody in cattle and goats respectively. There was poor awareness of brucellosis (32.1%) among the workers surveyed. Slaughterhouse practices that aid acquisition or spread of Brucella infection and percentage of SHWs engaged in the practices are: non-use of personal protective clothing during slaughterhouse operations (70.8%), discharge of eviscerated fetuses or pregnant uterine contents by open-air dump method of refuse disposal (64.9%) and illegal sell of eviscerated fetuses or gravid uterine contents for human consumption (59.9%) or preparation of dog food (71.5%).
Conclusion: The 4.1% suspected seroprevalence of Brucella antibodies in goats represents 128% increase from 1.8% seroprevalence earlier reported in the same species and study area in 2009. Significant amounts of Brucella antibody was detected in the food animals screened. Slaughterhouse workers played significant roles in spread of Brucella infection by their involvement in risk practices and behaviours that facilitate pathogen transmission. Therefore, massive awareness campaign and coordinated brucellosis control program in Enugu State are imperative to forestall the zoonotic and economic consequences associated with brucellosis.
Keywords: Brucella antibody, brucellosis, cattle, goats, slaughterhouse workers.
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