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A cross – sectional study was carried out at the Addis Ababa and Sululta abattoirs to investigate the status of bovine brucellosis and to assess the occupational hazard associated with brucellosis in abattoir workers. The work was conducted from September 2005 to March 2006. The study methodology consisted of seroprevalence study on both cattle slaughtered at the abattoirs and also on humans working in the abattoirs. Risk factors were also assessed both in cattle and humans. Additionally, questionnaire surveys were conducted on abattoir workers. A total of 1501 cattle, 759 from Addis Ababa abattoir and 742 from Sululta abattoir were included in this study. Blood samples were collected from 1304 male and 197 female cattle. Out of the total of 1501 cattle slaughtered in the abattoirs, 1398 were local and 103 crossbred cattle. In addition, 67 abattoir workers from Sululta abattoir were also participated in the study. Serum samples collected from both cattle and abattoir workers were screened using the Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT). Positive sera were further subjected to the Complement Fixation Test (CFT) to maximize specificity and predictive value. All the subsequent test analyses were based on the sera that were positive to both the RBPT and CFT. The 2 tests and logistic regression were used to test the association between risk factors and Seropositivity. The 2 , and OR values were calculated using the computer software program STATA. The overall individual animal prevalence of brucellosis in slaughtered cattle was 1.13%. (n = 17). The abattoir level seroprevalence was 1.19% (n = 9) and 1.08% (n = 8) for Addis Ababa and Sululta abattoirs respectively. Significant difference in seropositivity was not observed between the two abattoirs (P = 0.844). X I A highly significant difference in seropositivity was observed between male and female (P = 0.011) and between local and crossbred (P = 0.012) cattle. Difference in seropsitivity between the two age categories was not observed (P = 1.00). Thus genotype (breed) and sex were identified as important risk factors associated with seropositivity in slaughtered cattle and may pose potential occupational hazard for abattoir workers. All the sera (n = 67) obtained from Sululta abattoir workers were found negative for the presence of Brucella antibodies. On the basis of questionnaire surveys, consumption of raw meat, frequent cutting of hands and fingers at work and lack of knowledge about brucellosis and its zoonotic impact were identified as potential risk factors that may predispose the abattoir workers to the disease. In conclusion, the present work generally showed low seroprevalence of brucellosis among cattle slaughtered in Addis Ababa and Sululta abattoirs and none in humans. However, in view of questionnaire survey and the associated potential risk factors, creation of awareness about the occupational hazard and public health significance of brucellosis, adoption of basic hygienic measures among abattoir workers, proper identification of animals brought for slaughter and the conduct of further studies, especially on export oriented abattoirs, are recommended.



Brucellosis, Zoonosis, Occupational Hazard, Risk factors