Seroprevalence of Brucellosis, Knowledge, and Risky Practices in Dairy Cattle Owners and Workers in Maekel and Debub Regions, Eritrea

Ghebremeskel Habteyohannes Efrem National Animal and Plant Health Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Asmara, Eritrea;
Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Immunology and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia;

Search for other papers by Ghebremeskel Habteyohannes Efrem in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Bereket Mihreteab Pathology Laboratory, National Animal and Plant Health Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Asmara, Eritrea;

Search for other papers by Bereket Mihreteab in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Michael K. Ghebremariam School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom;

Search for other papers by Michael K. Ghebremariam in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Berhe Tesfai Massawa Hospital, Northern Red Sea Region Ministry of Health, Massawa, Eritrea;

Search for other papers by Berhe Tesfai in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Siobhan M. Mor Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, United Kingdom;
International Livestock Research Institution, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Search for other papers by Siobhan M. Mor in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Gezahegne Mamo Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Immunology and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia;

Search for other papers by Gezahegne Mamo in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close

Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease with worldwide distribution. In Eritrea, the status of the disease in occupationally exposed dairy farmers is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of brucellosis, level of knowledge, and risky practices of dairy cattle owners/workers in Maekel and Debub regions, Eritrea. A cross-sectional study was conducted between August 2021 and February 2022. A total of 416 dairy cattle owners and workers underwent blood collection and interview using a standardized questionnaire. Blood samples were tested using Rose Bengal Plate Test, and positive samples were confirmed using competitive ELISA. Variation in knowledge scores by sociodemographic factors and practices were explored statistically. The apparent and true seroprevalence was 1.2% (95% CI: 0.05–2.8%) and 1.4% (95% CI: 0.6–3.4%), respectively. Apparent seroprevalence was similar in Maekel (1.1%) and Debub (1.2%) regions. Nearly half of the participants (49.5%) had never heard of brucellosis before. Overall, brucellosis knowledge score was low (mean score: 6.53/20). Knowledge score was higher in participants from Maekel region (P <0.001), older participants (P = 0.035), those with higher educational attainment (P = 0.001), and those with more years of experience working in dairy farming (P = 0.001). Knowledge score was lower in farm workers compared with family members (P = 0.016). No significant differences in knowledge score existed between participants who engaged in or did not engage in potential risky practices. In summary, the prevalence of brucellosis in dairy cattle owners/workers in Maekel and Debub regions, Eritrea, was low. Participants demonstrated limited knowledge of brucellosis and engaged in risky practices.

Author Notes

Financial support: This research was partially funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa Project, from UK Research and Innovation and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (project number BB/P027954/1). Laboratory materials were funded and supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture, State of Eritrea.

Authors’ addresses: Ghebremeskel Habteyohannes Efrem, National Animal and Plant Health Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Asmara, Eritrea, and Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Immunology and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, E-mail: yafet1212@gmail.com. Bereket Mihreteab, Pathology Laboratory, National Animal and Plant Health Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Asmara, Eritrea, E-mail: bere.assvet@gmail.com. Michael K. Ghebremariam, School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom, E-mail: Michael.Ghebremariam@glasgow.ac.uk. Berhe Tesfai, Massawa Hospital, Northern Red Sea Region Ministry of Health, Massawa, Eritrea, E-mail: berhetesfai04@gmail.com. Siobhan M. Mor, Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, United Kingdom, and International Livestock Research Institution, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, E-mail: Siobhan.Mor@liverpool.ac.uk. Gezahegne Mamo, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Immunology and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, E-mail: gezahegnemamo@gmail.com

Address correspondence to Siobhan M. Mor, International Livestock Research Institute, P.O. Box 5689, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. E-mail: siobhan.mor@liverpool.ac.uk
Save