Original Research

Outbreak investigation and control case report of brucellosis: Experience from livestock research centre, Mpwapwa, Tanzania

Gabriel M. Shirima, Seleman N. Masola, Obeid N. Malangu, Brant A. Schumaker
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 81, No 1 | a818 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v81i1.818 | © 2014 Gabriel M. Shirima, Seleman N. Masola, Obeid N. Malangu, Brant A. Schumaker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 May 2014 | Published: 25 November 2014

About the author(s)

Gabriel M. Shirima, Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, United Republic of
Seleman N. Masola, Department of Animal Health, National Livestock Research Institute, Tanzania, United Republic of
Obeid N. Malangu, Veterinary Investigation Centre, Mpwapwa, Tanzania, United Republic of
Brant A. Schumaker, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Wyoming, United States


Brucellosis screening was conducted between 2005 and 2010 at the National Livestock Research Institute headquarters, Mpwapwa, Tanzania, following an abortion storm in cattle. The initial screening targeted breeding herds; 483 cattle were screened using the Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) followed by the Competitive Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (c-ELISA) as a confirmatory test. The seropositivity on c-ELISA was 28.95% in 2005; it subsequently declined to 6.72%, 1.17%, 0.16% and 0.00% in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010, respectively. Brucella seropositivity was not detected in goats. Seropositivity declined following institution of stringent control measures that included: gradual culling of seropositive animals through slaughter; isolation and confinement of pregnant cows close to calving; proper disposal of placentas and aborted foetuses; the use of the S19 vaccine; and restricted introduction of new animals. It was thought that the source of this outbreak was likely to have been from the introduction of infected animals from another farm. Furthermore, humans were found with brucellosis antibodies. Out of 120 people screened, 12 (10%) were confirmed seropositive to brucella antigen exposure by c-ELISA analysis. The majority of the seropositive individuals (80%) were milkers and animal handlers from the farm. Nine individuals had clinical signs suggestive of brucellosis. All cases received medical attention from the district hospital. This achievement in livestock and human health showed that it is possible to control brucellosis in dairy farms, compared to pastoral and agro-pastoral farms, thus providing evidence to adopt these strategies in dairy farms thought to be at risk.


Brucellosis, control measures, disease outbreak investigation, disease screening, prevalence, zoonotic disease.


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Crossref Citations

1. Diagnostic challenges of brucellosis in humans and livestock in Tanzania: A thematic review
Isaac J. Mengele, Gabriel M. Shirima, Barend M. Bronsvoort, Luis E. Hernandez-Castro, Elizabeth A.J. Cook
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