A multifaceted risk model of brucellosis at the human-animal interface in Egypt


Abd El-Wahab EW, Hegazy Y, El-Tras WF, Mikheal A, Kabapy AF, Abdelfatah M, Bruce M & Eltholth MM (2019) A multifaceted risk model of brucellosis at the human-animal interface in Egypt. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 66 (6), pp. 2383-2401.

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 northen 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 was significantly lower among cases compared to controls [‐12.7±18.1 vs 0.68±14.2 respectively; p< 0.001]. 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 behaviors 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 program.

brucellosis; KAP; risk factors; human‐animal interface; Egypt

Transboundary and Emerging Diseases: Volume 66, Issue 6

Publication date30/11/2019
Publication date online15/07/2019
Date accepted by journal08/07/2019