Seroprevalence and factors associated with brucellosis in cattle, goats and sheep in Karenga subcounty, Kaabong District
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Worldwide, brucellosis is a zoonotic disease of great public health and economic importance. It is one of the seven priority zoonoses in Uganda. This study was conducted in Karenga sub-county, Kaabong district. The main objective was to determine the status of brucellosis in cattle, goats and sheep in 26 protected kraals. A total of (504) blood samples were collected that is 245 were from cattle, goats (234) and sheep (25). In addition, a structured questionnaire was administered in all the 26 kraals. All the four parishes of Karenga sub-county were considered in the study. These were Loyoro, Karenga, Nakitoit and Kangole parishes. The blood samples were tested using Rose Bengal Test (RBT). Out of 245 blood samples of cattle tested, 29 were positive, giving a prevalence of 11.8%. By parish, the seroprevalence in cattle ranged from 7.5% in Kangole parish, loyoro 9.6%, Karenga 13.6%to19%in Nakitoit parish. Male cattle had a higher seroprevalence of 14.8% compared to 9.3% in females. By age group, cattle aged 3 to 5.9 years had the highest seroprevalence of 17.8%, and those aged to 8.9 years had the lowest seroprevalence of 12.5%. Out of 234 blood samples from goats tested, 14 were positive, giving a seroprevalence of 5.9%. Karenga parish had the highest seroprevalence of 7.5%, followed by Loyoro parish (5.9%) and Nakitoit parish (3%). All goat blood samples from Kangole parish were negative. The seroprevalence in male goats was 6.5%, while it was 5.2% in females. Brucellosis seropositivity was recorded in only goats aged 0 to 2.9 years (2%) and 3 to 5.9 years (11%). All the 25 blood samples from sheep were negative for brucellosis. The major kraal factors that influenced seroprevalence of brucellosis in cattle and goats were mixing of herds and flocks during communal grazing, sharing of water points, grazing of domestic livestock with wild animals in Kidepo Valley National Park, handling and poor disposal of aborted materials. Findings of this study have shown that the prevalence of brucellosis in Karenga sub-county is higher in cattle (11.8%) than in goats (5.9%) and in sheep (0%). It is recommended to educate the public, especially livestock keepers on the risk of infection by Brucella organisms and preventive measures.