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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.79 n.1 Pretoria  2008




A serological prevalence survey of Brucella abortus in cattle of rural communities in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



U W HesterbergI; R BagnallII; K PerrettII; B BoschII; R HornerII; B GummowI

ISection of Epidemiology, Department of Production Animal Studies, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria, Private Bag X04, Onderstepoort, 0110 South Africa
IIVeterinary Services KwaZulu-Natal, Private Bag X2, Cascades, 3202 South Africa





A serological survey of Brucella abortus in cattle originating from communal grazing areas of Kwa Zulu Natal was carried out between March 2001 and December 2003. The survey was designed as a 2-stage survey, considering the diptank as the primary sampling unit. In total 46 025 animals from 446 diptanks of 33 magisterial districts were sampled and tested using the Rose Bengal test and Complement Fixation Test. The apparent prevalence at district level was adjusted for clustering, diagnostic test sensitivity and specificity, and mapped using ArcView version 3.3. The prevalence of brucellosis in communal grazing areas of Kwa-Zulu Natal was found to be 1.45 % (0.84-2.21 %) and varied from 0 to 15.6 % between magisterial districts. In 19 of the 33 magisterial districts no serological reactors were observed. A large variation in prevalence was found within diptank areas. Brucellosis was found to be most prevalent in the northeastern area of the province. The findings of the survey are discussed.

Key words: Africa, Brucella abortus, brucellosis, communities, prevalence, rural, zoonosis



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Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Analysis
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Woodham Lane, Addlestone, KT15 3NB, UK

Received: July 2007
Accepted: January 2008

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