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Open AccessArticle

Acute Febrile Illness Caused by Brucella Abortus Infection in Humans in Pakistan

Animal Physiology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, 46000 Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Wildlife Epidemiology and Molecular Microbiology Laboratory (One Health Research Group), Discipline of Zoology, Department of Wildlife and Ecology, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Ravi Campus, 55300 Pattoki, Pakistan
Section of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore Sub- campus, 35200 Jhang, Pakistan
Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses, Naumburger Str. 10 96a, D-07743 Jena, Germany
Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, 35200 Jhang, Pakistan
Department of Zoology, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, 25000 Peshawar, Pakistan
Faculty Medicine of Veterinary, Kafrelsheikh University, 33516 Kafr El-Sheikh, Egypt
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4071;
Received: 27 August 2019 / Revised: 14 October 2019 / Accepted: 16 October 2019 / Published: 23 October 2019
Brucellosis is a zoonosis of great and worldwide public health concern that can cause a severe febrile illness in humans. In Pakistan, brucellosis is a critical problem in both animals and humans. This study aimed to gain insight into its prevalence and to analyze the potential risk factors of patients with acute febrile illness (AFI) of an unknown cause, at the hospitals of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in Pakistan. In total, 446 blood samples were collected from patients and screened for brucellosis using the Rose Bengal Plat Test (RBPT). All the serum samples were investigated for Brucella DNA using specific real-time PCR. Age, sex, occupation, urbanicity, socioeconomic status and history of animal contact were recorded and assessed as potential risk factors. The proportion of acute febrile illness patients for whom brucellosis could be suspected was 10.1% by the RBPT. Brucella DNA was detected in 26 (5.8%) cases and identified as B. abortus. Contact with infected animals, consumption of raw milk and socioeconomic status showed a highly significant (p < 0.05) correlation with seropositivity. Elderly patients (19.7% RBPT and 12.1% PCR) and females (13% RBPT and 9.3% PCR) were of high risk of brucellosis. Patients suffering from brucellosis-related manifestations should be screened for brucellosis, especially those in contact with animals or those consuming their unprocessed products, given the increased risk. The results of this study, which highlight that Brucella abortus as an important cause of acute febrile illnesses in humans, aid the development of effective control strategies for human brucellosis in Pakistan. View Full-Text
Keywords: human brucellosis; RBPT; ELISA; risk factors; real-time PCR human brucellosis; RBPT; ELISA; risk factors; real-time PCR
MDPI and ACS Style

Saddique, A.; Ali, S.; Akhter, S.; Khan, I.; Neubauer, H.; Melzer, F.; Khan, A.U.; Azam, A.; El-Adawy, H. Acute Febrile Illness Caused by Brucella Abortus Infection in Humans in Pakistan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4071.

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