Contact: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”
P8-06 Brucella infection in stray cattle reared in cow shelters (gaushalas) in Punjab, India: Lessons learned from an observational study





Bovine brucellosis is an important zoonosis across several states of India.,and has been reported in domestic animals and people. Data on the prevalence of brucellosis in stray cattle in India is limited, however this information would be helpful to provide epidemiological information to develop control policies to combat this infection and its further transmission to humans and animals. Study was conducted in stray cattlereared in animal shelters (also called gaushalas in local language) in Punjab, India; of 23 gaushalas visited (one from each district of Punjab), 587 blood samples were collected and tested to assess the exposure to Brucella spp. Of 587 sera, 62 [10.56% (95% CI: 8.33%, 13.31%)], 63 [10.73% (95% CI: 8.48%, 13.50%)] and 68 [11.58% (95% CI: 9.24%, 14.43%)] were positive for the presence of antibodies to Brucella using Rose Bengal Plate Agglutination Test (RBPT), Standard Tube Agglutination Test (STAT) and Indirect Enzyme Linked Immu-no Sorbent Assay (I- ELISA), respectively. The estimated true prevalence of 11.48 % (95% CI: 8.9%, 14.64%), 10.69 % (95% CI: 8.27%, 13.67%), and 13.28 % (95% CI: 10.50%, 16.66%) was observed using RBPT, STAT and I-ELISA, respectively. Exposure to Brucella spp. in animals was detected in 22 out of 23 cow shelters (gaushalas) and shelter/herd level prevalence was determined using combination of tests in series, i.e. if it was positive in RBPT or STAT result, and a positive indirect ELISA result. The shelter/herd level prevalence was estimated to be 96 % (95% CI: 79%, 99%). After adjusting for other variables in the final model, history of abortion was associated with very large odds of having a positive test (adjusted odds ratio 7.43, 95% confidence interval: 3.25-16.99, p = < 0.001). History of ROP was also associated with greater odds of having a positive Brucella infection test (adjusted odds ratio 5.25, 95% confidence interval: 1.38-19.88, p = 0.01). Infection with Brucella spp. in stray cattle indicates a potential risk to the farm workers and dairy farms. Further investigations are required to generate more epidemiological data on status of bovine brucellosis in stray cattle as well as shelter workers in Punjab and India.