A Review on Public Health and Economic Significance of Brucellosis

Mekonnen Addis


Zoonotic diseases are of major concern worldwide. Brucellosis is considered to be one of the world’s most important causes of illnesses in animals and humans. Brucellosis is an infectious, contagious, double burden and worldwide spread zoonotic disease caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella that have a wide host ranges and this facilitates the spread of the disease in different domestic and wild animals including humans. It is a public health problem with adverse health implications both for animals and human beings as well as economic implications for individuals and communities. Management, animal movement, wide ranges of host, herd size, commingling of different animal species are risk factors for animal brucellosis. The possible risk factors for human brucellosis are feeding behavior, occupational exposure, contact with diseased animals or their products and discharges. Brucellosis is characterized by similar clinical signs in different animal species and recognized after the animals are sexually matured. In animals the common clinical signs of brucellosis are abortion, retained placenta, orchitis, epididymitis and arthritis. Infertility is a common sequel of animal brucellosis and this is one of the factors that bring negative impacts on the development of economy of the infected countries. Human brucellosis is characterized by a variable incubation period and clinical signs include symptoms of continued, intermittent or irregular fever of variable duration, with headaches, weakness, profuse sweating, chills, depression and weight loss. In humans undulating fever is the most frequently observed sign. Abortion is also happened during the early trimesters of pregnancy. The disease is known widely distributed in Ethiopia among animals and human. Hence, periodic research should be conducted in the country to evaluate the prevalence of the disease; implementation of well-organized disease control and prevention methods must be undertaken to mitigate its impacts.

Keywords: Brucella, Brucellosis, Economic significance, Public Health

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