Original Research

Brucellosis knowledge, attitudes and practices of a South African communal cattle keeper group

Alicia Cloete, Cornelia Gerstenberg, Natalie Mayet, Stefano Tempia
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 86, No 1 | a1671 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v86i1.1671 | © 2019 Alicia Cloete, Cornelia Gerstenberg, Natalie Mayet, Stefano Tempia | This work is licensed under CC Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0
Submitted: 23 July 2018 | Published: 18 February 2019

About the author(s)

Alicia Cloete, South African Field Epidemiology Training Programme, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, University of Pretoria, South Africa; and, The School for Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa; and, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Animal Health, Pretoria, South Africa
Cornelia Gerstenberg, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Animal Health, Pretoria, South Africa
Natalie Mayet, South Africa Regional Global Disease Detection Centre, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa
Stefano Tempia, Center for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, South Africa; and, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States of America; and Influenza Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Brucellosis remains an animal and public health concern in South Africa, given the intensity and widespread distribution of outbreaks in cattle. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among cattle keepers in the Whittlesea community of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which utilises communal grazing. Individual cattle keepers (N = 227) who attended prearranged meetings in selected villages were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) regarding bovine brucellosis. We compared KAP scores between previous brucellosis-affected villages and unaffected villages. We compared attitude and practices scores between those who had heard of brucellosis and those who had not and between those above the 75th percentile knowledge score and those below. The KAP for the study population were described using frequency tables. Scores of different groups were compared using the Welch t-test or the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Knowledge scores of those who had heard of brucellosis (60%) showed a bimodal distribution with a 0/18 primary peak and 5–6/18 secondary peak. Attitude scores showed a median of 7/14 (interquartile range [IQR] 6–9), with 98% requesting more information on brucellosis. Practices scores showed a median of 6/18 (IQR 3–8), with high-risk practices identified that could facilitate brucellosis transmission. There were significant differences in attitude and practices scores between the groups above and below the 75th percentile knowledge score. The community showed poor knowledge, poor to average practices and average to good attitude. Identified high-risk practices highlight the risk of potential introduction and transmission of brucellosis between cattle and zoonotic transmission to humans.

Keywords

brucellosis; bovine brucellosis; cattle; knowledge, attitudes, practice; rural communities

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