Milk produced in Rwanda and consumed in cattle keeping households poses undocumented food safety risks including the transmission of the zoonotic brucellosis from animals to humans. The aim of this study was to assess the risk of exposure to Brucella among milk consumers in zero grazing and open grazing cattle keeping households in Rwanda. The study was a cross-sectional study involving 198 and 132 households practicing zero grazing and open grazing cattle production, respectively. To assess the risk of exposure to Brucella through milk consumption, a questionnaire was used and collected data were analyzed using SPSS logistic regression.
In nearly half (49.1 %; 162/330) of surveyed households, raw milk was consumed and, overall, 14.2 % (47/330) of surveyed households were exposed to Brucella by consuming raw milk while their farm bulk milk sample had turned Brucella seropositive. Among individual household members the cattle keeper was the household member most exposed (OR=19.9; 95 % CI, 5.9-66.2). Practicing open grazing cattle production system was significantly associated with raw milk consumption and farm bulk milk Brucella seropositivity.. The risk of exposure to Brucella through milk consumption exists and is high in households practicing open grazing cattle production in Rwanda.
Keywords: Brucella, Consumption, Exposure, Grazing, Household, Milk, Risk, Seropositive