Studies on human brucellosis in the Mikumi selous ecosystem, Morogoro, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Febrile zoonotic diseases from animals such as brucellosis are common and share many clinical manifestations with other fever causing diseases like malaria. The febrile zoonotic diseases are rarely routinely diagnosed or misdiagnosed in patients presenting with feverish conditions in many of the health facilities. Brucellosis in Morogoro region may be exacerbated by a number of factors including the presence of human-livestock-wildlife interface in the Mikumi Selous Ecosystem. The influx of large livestock herds owned by pastoral enhances possibility of maintenance and persistence of brucellosis. The aims of this study were to determine the seroprevalence of brucellosis in human, to assess knowledge on brucellosis and to identify risk factors associated with transmission of Brucella species to human in the study area. A multistage sampling was applied in a case control cross sectional study design to select patients with fever and patients with no fever (non fever patients) in 10 selected health facilities in the catchment of Mikumi Selous Ecosystem. Brucellosis screening was carried out by Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) in serum and thereafter the patients were followed at their homes for interview by using structured questionnaires. A total of 1509 fever group and 298 non fever groups were enrolled. A highly significant (p = 0.0001) infection rate was found in fever group 23.9% (n = 1509) than individuals in non-fever group 3.7%. Comparison of prevalence of brucellosis district wise showed that Mvomero district had higher prevalence (36.1%) than other districts. Brucellosis was found to be misdiagnosed as malaria, typhoid fever and venereal disease and the general community had poor knowledge about the diseases. Rural dwellers in Morogoro region mostly (49.3%) practiced self-medication whenever felt sick and some (30.1%) were using traditional healers to get health services. Contact with cattle manure, milking, contact with placenta during assisted parturition and home slaughter were the main risk factors for transmission of brucellosis by direct contact. However, drinking ii of raw unpasteurized milk, undercooked or raw meat and seeping raw blood were the foodstuffs that constituted a major threat of brucellosis to the community in the study area. Findings of this study show that brucellosis is a problem and the prevalence is high necessitating prompt control measures. Control of brucellosis in animal populations, public health education and creation of awareness on dangers posed by handling animal placenta during abortion and consumption of improperly cooked foods of animal origin will be necessary measures for prevention of the disease in human.



Human brucellosis, Selous ecosystem, Wild animals, Animal clinical, Zoonotic diseases, Mikumi Nationa park, Morogoro, Tanzania, Febrile zoonotic diseases, Human- livestock- wildlife interface