Prevalence of brucellosis in livestock keepers and domestic ruminants in Baringo County, Kenya
Brucellosis is widely distributed in more than 170 countries around the world, where it poses a huge threat to animal husbandry and human health. Brucellosis is a worldwide re-emerging zoonotic disease that poses serious public health problems in many developing countries including Kenya. However, prevalence of brucellosis has not been determined in Baringo County, Kenya, yet there is a continuous movement of cattle resulting from trade and grazing, thus predisposing many herds to brucellosis infection. We investigated the sero-prevalence of brucellosis in humans and domestic ruminants: sheep, goats, cattle and camels among livestock keeping communities in Baringo County, Kenya. In addition, we analyzed the seropositive samples for molecular detection of Brucella species. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey using quantitative data collection methods. The diagnosis was carried out using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) and the real-time PCR assays. The sero-prevalence of brucellosis among human blood samples was 0.6% (n = 4/640) in Baringo County. About 22.30% (n = 143/640) of animal blood samples examined tested positive for Brucella genus-specific ELISA test. Cattle had a high prevalence of 22.88% (n = 93/322) followed by camels 20.00% (n = 21/105), goats 15.48% (n = 24/155) and subsequently sheep at 8.62% (n = 5/58). Overall, 7.5% (n = 6/80) of the seropositive samples amplified with the genus-specific primers. Brucella melitensis was detected in one out of the six genus positive samples, while none amplified with the B. abortus target. Even though there was high prevalence of brucellosis among livestock in Baringo County, the highest prevalence was invariably noted in cattle, followed by camels, goats and sheep, respectively. Livestock keepers had low prevalence of brucellosis. This implies that there was low risk of transmission of brucellosis between livestock keepers and their livestock.