Epizootiological Survey of Bovine Brucellosis in Nomadic Pastoral Camps in Niger State, Nigeria
Bovine brucellosis is a bacterial zoonotic disease of cattle caused by members of the genus Brucella. A cross sectional study was conducted in three nomadic pastoral camps to determine seroprevalence of the disease and assess herders’ exiting veterinary knowledge and traditional oral history about the disease, using Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools respectively. Sample size of 87 was obtained for quantitative analysis while six key informants were conveniently selected for qualitative information. The within-camp seropositive varied between 1 (3.45%) in Paiko pastoral camp to 4 (13.79%) each in Bobi grazing reserve and Eyagi pastoral camps. The overall seroprevalence was 10.35%. Results of existing veterinary knowledge and traditional oral history exercises indicate that bovine brucellosis has high impact in nomadic pastoral cattle camps with strong agreements of W= 0.787, P<0.05 among the six key informants. They called bovine brucellosis (Bakkale) and described it as a cattle disease characterized by standing hair coat, fever, loss of appetite, swollen joints, and abortion and transmitted by ingestion and contact. The high prevalence observed calls for urgent government intervention towards public health enlightenment of pastoral nomads on the zoonotic nature and danger of the disease. Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should initiate routine screening of pastoral nomads and their herds, especially those that are potential reservoirs and those at risk of exposure with consequent free treatment for animals and humans found positive.
Keywords: Bovine brucellosis, seroprevalence, existing veterinary knowledge, pastoral camps.