Brucellosis is one of the most important foodborne infectious diseases distributed widely in low- and middle-income countries. The current study was carried out to investigate the prevalence and risk factors that influence the distribution of Brucella in sheep. A structured questionnaire was prepared and introduced to a total of 60 resident owners from five counties, and 400 sheep blood samples were randomly collected from the selected herds. The sera of isolated sheep were tested for Brucella spp. using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT). A univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the risk factors linked to animal management and husbandry practices at the farm level. The overall prevalence estimated for brucellosis was 31% (95% confidence interval [Cl]: 26.5–35.8). The odds of seroprevalence in sheep >1 year were significantly higher than those in sheep ≤1 year (odds ratio [OR]: 2.2, 95% Cl: 1.41–3.44). The logistic regression outcomes revealed that two variables related to the management and practices at the farm level were significantly associated with the seroprevalence of brucellosis. These variables were sheep sheep grazing with other flocks (OR: 5.8, 95 Cl% Cl: 1.53–22.67) and the practice of lending ram among sheep owners (OR: 9.3, 95% Cl: 1.05–83.82). Unconfined domesticated dogs, improper handling of aborted ewes, introduction of new animals in a herd, (purchased), and lack of knowledge about brucellosis among owners were underlined to be further important factors that could influence the spread of brucellosis. This study concluded that brucellosis is an endemic disease in Basrah, and the animal vaccination control program with an integrated health education program for sheep owners are obligatory elements of the prevention measures needed to be established to minimize the risk of brucellosis in Basrah.
Seroprevalence of brucellosis, Risk factors, Questionnaire survey, Sheep owners, Basrah province
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