Prevalence and speciation of brucellosis in febrile patients from a pastoralist community of Tanzania.
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Brucellosis is an endemic zoonosis in sub-Saharan Africa. Pastoralists are at high risk of infection but data on brucellosis from these communities are scarce. The study objectives were to: estimate the prevalence of human brucellosis, identify the Brucella spp. causing illness, describe non-Brucella bloodstream infections, and identify risk factors for brucellosis in febrile patients from a pastoralist community of Tanzania. Fourteen (6.1%) of 230 participants enrolled between August 2016 and October 2017 met study criteria for confirmed (febrile illness and culture positivity or ≥four-fold rise in SAT titre) or probable (febrile illness and single SAT titre ≥160) brucellosis. Brucella spp. was the most common bloodstream infection, with B. melitensis isolated from seven participants and B. abortus from one. Enterococcus spp., Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae were also isolated. Risk factors identified for brucellosis included age and herding, with a greater probability of brucellosis in individuals with lower age and who herded cattle, sheep or goats in the previous 12 months. Disease prevention activities targeting young herders have potential to reduce the impacts of human brucellosis in Tanzania. Livestock vaccination strategies for the region should include both B. melitensis and B. abortus.