Serological and Molecular Investigation of Brucellosis in Breeding Equids in Pakistani Punjab
Brucellosis is an important zoonosis worldwide. Equines are susceptible to the infection when in close contact with infected animals. The objective of our study was to update the existing knowledge and detect and differentiate the causative agent of brucellosis in breeding equines in Punjab, Pakistan. A cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate the occurrence and etiology of the infection in the equine population in three districts. A total of 448 equine sera were collected from three prefectures viz. Sahiwal, Khanewal, and Okara of the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Ninety-six (21.4%) samples were found positive by RBPT, 3.56% (16/448) by iELISA, and 4.24% (19/448) by CFT. Real-time PCR demonstrated the presence of Brucella abortus-DNA in sero-positive samples. Age and location were found as risk factors. The study concludes equine brucellosis seroprevalence in the country where Brucella abortus as the main etiology. Fistulous withers and poll evil cases should be treated with care as they could be hazardous and a source of zoonotic transmission. Routine screening at an early age, vaccination in ruminants, and consumption of pasteurized dairy milk in humans is recommended for prevention of the infection. Specific tests need to be standardized and validated.