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Brucellosis in Dairy Cattle and Goats in Northern Ecuador

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  • Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon; Department of Sociology, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky; Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin; Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Instituto de Microbiología, Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, Quito, Ecuador; Servicios Veterinarios, Cayambe, Ecuador; School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon

The purpose of this study was to conduct a convenience study for brucellosis prevalence in dairy-producing animals in northern Ecuador. In total, 2,561 cows and 301 goats were tested. Cattle sera were tested using the Rose Bengal card antigen test (RBCT), yielding an overall apparent prevalence of 5.5% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 4.7–6.5%) and true prevalence of 7.2% (95% CI = 6.0–8.5%). Prevalence varied by herd size and was highest in larger commercial herds. Polymerase chain reaction was used to test goat milk and lymph nodes, resulting in 9% and 8% positivity, respectively. The RBCTs from goat sera yielded an adjusted true prevalence of 17.8% (95% CI = 6.2–44.2%). Our findings are similar to other overall prevalence estimates for dairy herds but show higher prevalence in commercial herds compared with small groups (less than five animals). We also identify urban milking goats living in metropolitan Quito as a potential source of zoonosis.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Keith P. Poulsen, Department of Clinical Sciences, Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 700 SW 30th Street, Corvallis, OR 97331. E-mail: Keith.Poulsen@oregonstate.edu

Financial support: This work was funded by University of Wisconsin—Madison Global Health Incubator Pilot Grant Program 2010–2012. The polymerase chain reaction analysis of goat samples was funded by Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ (Ecuador).

Authors' addresses: Keith P. Poulsen, Department of Clinical Sciences, Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Corvallis, OR, E-mail: Keith.Poulsen@oregonstate.edu. Frank T. Hutchins, Department of Sociology, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY, E-mail: fhutchins@bellarmine.edu. Chase M. McNulty and Marlène Tremblay, Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, WI, E-mails: chase.mcnulty@gmail.com and mtremblay@wisc.edu. Carmen Zabala, Veronica Barragan, and Gabriel Trueba, Ciencias Biologicas y Ambientales, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador, E-mails: czabala@usfq.edu.ec, verónicavbarragan@usfq.edu.ec, and gtrueba@usfq.edu.ec. Luis Lopez, Servicios Veterinarios, Cayambe, Pichincha, Ecuador, E-mail: luislopez.vet@hotmail.com. Jeffrey W. Bethel, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, E-mail: jeff.bethel@oregonstate.edu.

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