Proposals for the Rational Control and Prevention of Bovine Brucellosis in Nigeria
In an earlier presentation and in relevant publications (Esuruoso, 1972; 1974), it was shown that Nigeria could be divided into free, moderately infected and heavily infected areas with regard to bovine brucellosis. In this paper, it is recommended that where there is little or no infection at the moment the disease could be prevented by annual serological and bacteriological surveillance and removal by culling of any positive reactors. In moderately infected areas the few reactors should be identified by branding after the appropriate tests have been performed. They should then be separated from clean animals and allowed to complete their reproductive life without contact with clean herds. Offsprings of the infected cattle which later turn out to be clean after necessary testing before they reach the breeding age, could then be mixed with the clean herd.
Heifer calves in heavily infected herds should be inoculated with Brucella abortus strain 19 (S19) attenuated vaccine at the age of 3 to 6 months. Cows and mature heifers in these herds should be tested annually and separated into clean and infected groups. The infected group should be kept on separate pastures from the clean group. They should also be confined for calving and their manger beddings should be destroyed by incineration.
At slaughter as well as during abortions and infective calvings, the Brucella abortus serotypes causing the disease should be isolated, identified completely and propagated for further study and vaccine production. Under no circumstance should indiscriminate vaccination be carried out on any herd in this country, as this will confuse the situation and confound any rational attempts at control or eradication.