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A multifaceted risk model for brucellosis at the human–animal interface in Egypt

Abd El‐Wahab, E.W., Hegazy, Y.M., El‐Tras, W.F., Mikheal, A., Kabapy, A.F., Abdelfatah, M., Bruce, M.ORCID: 0000-0003-3176-2094 and Eltholth, M.M. (2019) A multifaceted risk model for brucellosis at the human–animal interface in Egypt. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 66 (6). pp. 2383-2401.

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Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis affecting humans and a wide range of domesticated and wild animal species. An important element for effective disease containment is to improve knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of afflicted communities. This study aimed to assess the KAP related to brucellosis at the human–animal interface in an endemic area of Egypt and to identify the risk factors for human infection. A matched case–control study was conducted at the central fever hospitals located in six governorates in northern Egypt. Face‐to‐face interviews with cases and controls were conducted using a structured questionnaire. In total, 40.7% of the participants owned farm animals in their households. The overall mean practice score regarding animal husbandry, processing and consumption of milk and dairy products were significantly lower among cases compared with controls (−12.7 ± 18.1 vs. 0.68 ± 14.2, respectively; p < .001). Perceived barriers for notification of animal infection/abortion were predominate among cases and positively correlated with participants’ education. The predictors of having brucellosis infection were consumption of unpasteurized milk or raw dairy products and practicing animal husbandry. Applying protective measures against infection significantly reduced its risk. A model predicting risk factors for brucellosis among those who own animal showed that frequent abortions per animal increased the chance for brucellosis infection among human cases by 50‐fold (95% CI: 8.8–276.9), whereas the use of protective measures in animal care reduced the odds (OR = 0.11 [95% CI: 0.03–0.45]). In conclusion, consumption of unprocessed dairy products was equally important as contact with infected/aborted animals as major risk factors for Brucella spp. infection among humans in Egypt. There is poor knowledge, negative attitudes and risky behaviours among villagers which can perpetuate the risk of brucellosis transmission at the human–animal interface. This supports the need for integrating health education into the national brucellosis control programme.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: Blackwell-Wiss.-Verl
Copyright: © 2019 Blackwell Verlag GmbH
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