Brucellosis is one of the most widespread zoonotic diseases posing a serious obstacle to public health, food safety and security and, socio-economic development in most African countries. A cross-sectional study was conducted to establish practices that may pose occupational risks of transmission of brucellosis to people working in abattoirs in Tanzania. A total of 452 serum samples; 190, 200 and 62 from cattle, goats and human, respectively were collected in animals and workers at Dodoma abattoir, Tanzania. The samples were screened for brucellosis using Rose Bengal Plate test (RBPT) and indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA). A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data for assessing the knowledge, awareness and practices related to brucellosis exposure. Data were analyzed to determine the association of brucellosis seropositivity with the knowledge, awareness and practices of the workers. The seroprevalence of brucellosis in cattle, goats and abattoir workers was 7.3, 1.5 and 1.6%, respectively based on Rose Bengal Plate Test. The seroprevalence was 4.7% in cattle, 1.6% in humans and none in goats when samples were tested by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results of this study show that, there is a potential occupational risk of acquisition of brucellosis for abattoir workers and hence, the need for awareness campaigns and taking appropriate precautions to minimize the zoonotic risks is greatly required.
Key words: Brucellosis, abattoir, occupational risk, Rose Bengal plate test, indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
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