The prevalence of brucellosis in cattle and their handlers in north Tongu District of Volta Region, Ghana
Background: Brucellosis is a zoonotic pathogen responsible for great economic losses in most sub-Saharan nations. Although Ghana has successfully implemented the “One Health” initiative for the control of some emerging infectious zoonotic diseases with pandemic potential like Avian Influenza, there is very limited data available on brucellosis especially human brucellosis prevalence. He objective of his study is to determine the seroprevalence of human and bovine brucellosis as well as the predisposing factors at the community level in the North Tongu District of Ghana.
Materials and Methods: Rose Bengal Plate test (RBPT) was used to analyze blood samples from 178 cattle farmers, and 315 cattle. The positive samples were further confirmed with cELISA. Predisposing factors were determined by questionnaires administered to cattle farmers. All sample sites were geo-referenced.
Results: Human and bovine brucellosis seroprevalence using RBPT were 10.1% and 22.9% respectively. Eighty six percent (62/72) of bovine cases were confirmed with ELISA. Delivery assistants were more likely to be infected (p=0.043) with odds ratio of 2.7. Out of the human cases (18), males constituted 88.9%. Ages 11-20 years recorded 77.7% seropositivity whilst cattle drovers represented 44.5% (8/18) of positives. Significant risk factors in cattle were herd size (p=0.037), history of retained placenta (0.000) and abortion (0.005).
Conclusion: Bovine and human brucellosis is prevalent in North Tongu district, Ghana. Close contact with parturient cows was a major predisposing factor for human infection. Early referral of positive persons to the Hospital for confirmation and treatment is required to comply with the “One Health” initiative on brucellosis and other zoonoses.
Keywords: Brucellosis, cattle, handlers, Tongu, Volta, Ghana