Prevalence and Spatial Distribution of Animal Brucellosis in Central Punjab, Pakistan
Brucellosis is an important zoonotic disease of animals and humans caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. Brucellae are Gram-negative intracellular bacteria which infect a wide variety of animals including goats, sheep, buffaloes, cows, pigs, and wildlife. The objectives of this study were to determine the seroprevalence and spatial distribution of brucellosis in Central Punjab, Pakistan. A total of 1083 blood samples of goats, sheep, buffaloes, and cows were collected from 38 villages of four districts (Kasur, Faisalabad, Lahore, and Okara) of Punjab, Pakistan, and screened for brucellosis by Rose Bengal Plate test (RBPT) and PCR confirmed. Epidemiological, demographic data and GPS coordinates for every sample were collected. By using interpolation of the Aeronautical Reconnaissance Coverage Geographic Information System (Arc GIS), a surface plot was generated applying inverse distance weight (IDW). It was found that 35 (3.23%) serum samples were positive for brucellosis. In eight (61.5%), six (75%), seven (87.5%), and eight (89%) villages, positive goats, sheep, buffaloes, and cattle were detected, respectively. In general, older animals are more often positive for brucellosis. In goats bucks were more often RBPT positive than females while in sheep, buffaloes, and cattle more females were positive. The spatial distribution of brucellosis shows that it is widely distributed in the western region of the study area in goats and in the South-West region in sheep. Similarly, for buffaloes it is restricted to the south-east and north-west regions, and in cattle brucellosis is present in western region of study area only. Reflected by this study, brucellosis poses a risk for livestock in developing countries due to lack of awareness by officials, owners, and consumers, and control measures are missing. A risk map of brucellosis was generated to develop effective strategies for awareness rising and to improve the quality of control programs in Pakistan.