The seroprevalence of brucellosis among undiagnosed family members of brucellosis positive patients
Aim: This study investigated the seroprevalence, complications and risk factors of Brucella infection in rural areas of Sivas, Turkey.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in three hyperendemic counties for brucellosis known as Gurun, Altinyayla and Kangal in Sivas between April and October in 2011. A total of 1,430 subjects were consulted.
Results: Of the 1,430 subjects, 217 (15.2%) with clinical findings compatible with brucellosis were examined by taking blood samples to study both standard tube agglutination test (STAT) and enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (Genzyme Virotech GmbH, Rüsselsheim, Germany). The seroprevalance of Brucella was found to be 8.0%. Brucella seropositivity was detected in 114 (52.5%) of the 217 subjects with STAT. There was no significant difference between female and male subjects with regard to Brucella seropositivity (P = 0.214). The seropositivity of subject 16–65 age group was significantly higher than those of subjects in <16 and >65 age groups (P = 0.001). In Brucella ELISA test results, 123 (56.7%) subjects had positive IgG antibodies and 96 (44.2%) IgM antibodies. Skeletal complications were the most frequent; joint, muscle, and waist pain were found in 87.1%, 79.7%, and 74.6% of subjects respectively. Most subjects (90.8%) gave a history of frequent consumption of fresh cheese directly from the cattle they own and contact with animals (77.8%) for risk factors of brucellosis.
Conclusion: Brucella seropositivity is high in Gurun, Altinyayla and Kangal counties and primary care physicians should keep in mind the clinical and laboratory findings of brucellosis especially in family members of brucellosis patients.
Key words: Brucellosis, complications, enzyme‑linked immunosorbent assay, risk factors, seropositivity