Pakistan Veterinary Journal
ISSN: 0253-8318 (PRINT), 2074-7764 (ONLINE)
Accessible at: www.pvj.com.pk
Prevalence of Brucellosis in Cattle in Urmia, Iran
Hamid Maadi*1, Mohammad Moharamnejad and Morteza Haghi1
Department of Microbiology, 1Young Researchers Club, Azad University of Urmia, Western Azerbyjan, Iran
*Corresponding author: email@example.com
ARTICLE H I STOR Y
Accepted: August 14, 2010
Milk ring test
To Cite This Article: Maadi H, M Moharamnejad and M Haghi, 2011. Prevalence of brucellosis in cattle in Urmia,
Iran. Pak Vet J, 31(1): 81-82.
Brucellosis is contagious bacterial infection of
livestock (Munir et al., 2010) and continues to be of great
health concern and economic importance in worldwide
including Iran. This disease is caused by aerobic gram-
negative bacteria of the genus Brucella. Among the genus,
B. abortus and B. melitensis are the leading cause of
brucellosis in livestock (Karaca et al., 2007). This
organism is also important causal agent of brucellosis in
humans (Gul and Khan, 2007). Infection in animals
frequently results in abortion and diminished milk
production (Cutler et al., 2005).
Man is infected by animal’s brucellosis through direct
or indirectly by ingestion of animal products as well as by
inhalation of air borne agents. The animals that are
commonly known to serve as source of human infection
are goat, sheep, cattle and swine, dogs have long been
known as carriers of Brucella (Baldwin and Goenka,
2006). Brucellosis is usually an occupational disease;
most cases occur in abattoir workers, veterinarians,
hunters, farmers and livestock producers. Sometimes
infection occurs after drinking raw milk or eating
unpasteurized cheese (Celebi et al., 2007)
Cow production in Urmia city is an important
livelihood source. The region is a border city where from
time to time animals cross from other countries (Iraq,
Turkey) and cannot be controlled properly. Thus,
brucellosis epidemic in this region occurs more often.
Problems affecting cows health is also effecting their
February 24, 2010
July 30, 2010
This study was carried out to know the prevalence of brucellosis in Urmia, Iran. For
this purpose, 338 milk samples were collected from 36 villages in two seasons
(spring and autumn, 2008). In spring, 82 milk samples from 11 villages and in
autumn, 256 milk samples from 25 villages were collected randomly. These
samples were examined for Brucella abortus antibodies with milk ring test. From
82 milk samples collected during spring, 1 (1.22%) showed positive while others
(98.78%) showed negative reaction. From 256 milk samples collected during
autumn, 3 (1.17%) showed positive and 253(98.83%) showed negative reaction. It
was concluded from the results that prevalence of brucellosis in cattle was low in
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owners economically. It is hoped that this investigation
with its inspection of spreading rate among the region’s
cows and presentation of the needed statistic data, would
help to improve milk quality as well as the region’s
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Sampling for the detection of Brucella abortus
antibodies in Urmia cattle were taken in spring and
autumn, 2008. In spring and autumn, 82 and 256 milk
samples from 11 and 25 villages were randomly collected,
respectively. Before sample collection, teats were
disinfected with alcohol and then allowed to dry. The first
streak of milk was discharged into sterile tubes. These
tubes were kept in ice and then transferred to laboratory.
Milk ring test (MRT) was performed (Morgan et al.,
1978). Briefly, 0.03 µl of Brucella abortus antigen (from
Iran Pasteur Institution) was added to 1000 µl of milk,
mixed well and incubated at 37°C for one hour and then
examined for ring formation. Thus results were analyzed
by applying Chi square test at significance level P<0.05.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
From 82 milk samples collected during spring, 1
(1.22%) and 81 (98.78%) showed positive and negative
reaction with milk ring test, respectively. From 256 milk
samples collected during autumn, 3 (1.17%) and 253
(98.83%) showed positive and negative reaction,
Pak Vet J, 2011, 31(1): 81-82.
respectively. Statistical analysis revealed non-significant
difference of brucellosis in spring and autumn (Chi square
value=0.000; P=0.998). Out of 338 total milk samples, 4
(1.18%) and 334 (98.82%) showed positive and negative
Brucellosis is worldwide disease particularly in Near
East countries, Middle East, Turkey, Iraq, Iran including
city of Urmia. It is one of the most economically
devastating diseases, which causes great losses among the
offsprings and health problems in rural and urban
population, due to either direct contact with infected
materials or consumption of the contaminated dairy
products such as milk. Eradication of this disease in the
animals is a necessary step to control the human disease
(Taleski et al., 2002; Shareef, 2006). Although the disease
prevalence in cattle has been reported to be quite high in
Iran, its serological presence in cattle of Urmia is reported
to be low in comparison. In the present study, the
prevalence of brucellosis in cattle was found to be 1.18%.
The prevalence of brucellosis varies in different
regions. For instance, in Khoy city, nearby the Urmia, in
West Azerbayjan province, prevalence of brucellosis has
been reported to be 26.66% (positive MRT) in spring,
2008. In contrast, in our study, prevalence of brucellosis is
reported 1.22% in spring. According to the results,
weather conditions had non-significant effects on
prevalence of brucellosis among the cattle of the region.
From this study it can be concluded that prevalence
of brucellosis in this region of the country is very low;
though threat to human population is still there. Therefore,
more detailed studies be carried out in this region to make
proper and effective control measures.
Special thanks for Mohammad Maadi, Amir Zare,
Hamed Nalbandi and Behzad Karimi in sample collection
and Laya Solaymanzadeh in editing the text.
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