Serological and molecular evidence of Brucella species in the rapidly growing pig sector in Kenya

Akoko, J. et al. (2020) Serological and molecular evidence of Brucella species in the rapidly growing pig sector in Kenya. BMC Veterinary Research, 16(1), 133. (doi: 10.1186/s12917-020-02346-y) (PMID:32393374) (PMCID:PMC7216537)

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Background: Brucellosis is an emerging yet neglected zoonosis that has been reported in Kenya. Epidemiological data on brucellosis in ruminants is readily accessible; however, reports on brucellosis in pigs remain limited. This study sought to detect Brucella infection in pig serum by both serological and molecular techniques. Serum from 700 pigs randomly collected at a centralized abattoir in Nairobi region, Kenya were screened in parallel, using both Rose Bengal Test (RBT) and competitive Enzyme-Linked Immuno-sorbent Assay (cELISA) for antibodies against Brucella spp. All sera positive by RBT and 16 randomly selected negative samples were further tested using conventional PCR targeting bcsp31 gene and real-time PCR (RT-PCR) assays targeting IS711 and bcsp31 genes. Results: A prevalence of 0.57% (n = 4/700) was estimated using RBT; none of these samples was positive on cELISA. All RBT positive sera were also positive by both PCRs, while two sero-negative samples also tested positive on RT-PCR (n = 6/20). Brucella abortus was detected in four out of the six PCR positive samples through a real-time multiplex PCR. Conclusion: The detection of antibodies against Brucella spp. and DNA in serum from slaughterhouse pigs confirm the presence of Brucella in pigs. Therefore, investigation of the epidemiology and role of pigs in the transmission of brucellosis in Kenya is needed. Further targeted studies would be useful to systematically quantify and identify the spp. of Brucella in pigs.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:JA, CM, AL were supported within the framework of the DELTAS Africa Initiative [Afrique One-ASPIRE /DEL-15-008]. The Medical Research Council (UK) supported data collection and serological analysis, Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (UK), the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), the Natural Environment Research Council (UK), through the Environmental & Social Ecology of Human Infectious Diseases Initiative (ESEI), Grant Reference: G1100783/1 and the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), led by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); we acknowledge the CGIAR Fund Donors ( The molecular assays were conducted at the BecA-ILRI Hub through the Africa Biosciences Challenge Fund (ABCF) fellowship. The ABCF program is funded by the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the BecA-CSIRO partnership; the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA); the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF); the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (Sida).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lukambagire, Mr Abdul Hamid and Halliday, Dr Jo
Authors: Akoko, J., Pelle, R., Kivali, V., Schelling, E., Shirima, G., Machuka, E. M., Mathew, C., Fèvre, E. M., Kyallo, V., Falzon, L. C., Lukambagire, A. S., Halliday, J. E.B., Bonfoh, B., Kazwala, R., and Ouma, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:BMC Veterinary Research
ISSN (Online):1746-6148
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The Author(s). 2020
First Published:First published in BMC Veterinary Research 16(1):133
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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