Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) has a potential public health risk and economic impact in pastoralist community whose livelihood depends on their livestock. A cross-sectional study was carried out from September, 2008 to June, 2011 on 1087 cattle under pastoral and agro-pastoral production system in four districts of Afar Pastoral Region of Ethiopia using comparative intradermal tuberculin skin test to estimate the prevalence of BTB and assess the associated risk factors for infection. The individual animal prevalence of BTB in cattle of Afar pastoralists was 11% (95% confidence interval (CI): 9 to 13%) with ≥ 4 mm cut-off and 18% (95% CI: 16% to 21%) with ≥2 mm cut-off. The herd prevalence was 44% (95% CI: 36 to 51%) and 56% (95% CI: 48 to 63%) at ≥4 and ≥2 mm cut-off points, respectively. In bivariate analysis, the prevalence was significantly associated with study districts, herd size, sex and age, and in multivariable logistic regression analysis, the statistical significance was maintained with study district, age and herd size of the cattle. In conclusion, the present study revealed a moderately high prevalence of BTB in Afar Pastoral Region of Ethiopia and further investigation is recommended to assess the zoonotic significance of the disease to the pastoralist communities of the region.
Key words: Bovine tuberculosis, prevalence, risk factors, comparative intradermal tuberculin test, Afar pastoral region, Ethiopia.
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