Predictors of specific anti-Brucella antibodies among humans in agro-pastoral communities in Sengerema district, Mwanza, Tanzania: the need for public awarenessReport as inadecuate

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Tropical Medicine and Health

, 44:34

First Online: 18 October 2016Received: 08 July 2016Accepted: 14 September 2016DOI: 10.1186-s41182-016-0034-5

Cite this article as: Mngumi, E.B., Mirambo, M.M., Wilson, S. et al. Trop Med Health 2016 44: 34. doi:10.1186-s41182-016-0034-5


BackgroundHuman brucellosis remains to be a neglected zoonotic disease among agro-pastoral communities where livestock rearing is one of the main economic activities. This study was conducted in different agro-pastoral communities in Sengerema district, Mwanza, Tanzania, to determine seroprevalence and predictors of anti-Brucella antibodies, information that may influence public awareness on the risk factors and strategies to improve the diagnosis of brucellosis in developing countries.

MethodsA cross-sectional community-based study was conducted between July and September 2008 in ten villages of Sengerema district. Sociodemographic and other related information were collected using a standardized data collection tool. Detection of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis antibodies were done using rapid Brucella serum agglutination test. Data were analysed by using STATA version 11.0. Adjusted odds ratios AOR were calculated using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

ResultsA total of 382 adults were enrolled with the median age of 30 interquartile range 15–40 years. Males formed the majority of the participants 234 61.5 %. Overall, seroprevalence of anti-Brucella antibodies was found to be 14.1 % 54-382, 95 % CI 10.6–17.5. Seroprevalence of B. melitensis was 11 % 42-382 while that of B. abortus was found to be 7 % 26-282, P = 0.0267. Co-infection of B. melitensis and B. abortus was observed in 3.6 % 14-382, 95 % CI 1.7–5.4 of participants. On a multivariate logistic regression analysis, male sex AOR 3.2, 95 % CI 1.3–7.5, P = 0.007, touching goat placenta AOR 2.54, 95 % CI 1.05–6.14, P = 0.012 and agro-pastoralist occupation AOR 2.07, 95 % CI 1.01–4.24, P = 0.04 were found to predict B. melitensis infection. Males AOR 3.07, 95 % CI 1.45–6.51, P = 0.003 and agro-pastoralists AOR 2.98, 95 % CI 1.38–6.43, P = 0.005 were found to be predictors for specific anti-Brucella antibodies.

ConclusionsA significant proportion of the agro-pastoralist male population in agro-pastoral communities in Sengerema district is positive for anti-Brucella antibodies. With the decrease incidence of malaria fever, other causes of fever such as Brucella spp. should be considered of public health concern in Tanzania especially in agro-pastoral communities.

KeywordsB. abortus B. melitensis Brucellosis Anti-Brucella antibodies Sengerema AbbreviationsAORAdjusted odds ratio

BMCBugando Medical Centre

CIConfidence interval

CUHASCatholic University of Health and Allied Sciences

IQRInterquartile range

UAORUnadjusted odds ratio

VICVeterinary Investigation Centre

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Author: Elifuraha B. Mngumi - Mariam M. Mirambo - Sospeter Wilson - Stephen E. Mshana


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