Review on Status of Small Ruminant Brucellosis in Ethiopia
Brucellosis in small ruminants is mainly caused by Brucella meltiness and B. ovis and in sporadic cases by B. abortus. This disease is mainly characterized by abortion with the development of yellowish, sticky layers on the placenta in females. In male animals, it causes orchitis and epididymitis, and arthritis in both genders. Species of Brucella are obligate parasites, requiring an animal host for maintenance. They are small, non - motile, non - sporulating, non-toxigenic, aerobic, facultative intracellular, gram-negative coco-bacilli parasites. The primary route of dissemination of Brucella is the placenta, fetal fluids and vaginal discharges expelled by infected animal after abortion or full-term parturition. Brucellosis is readily transmissible to humans, causing acute febrile illness – undulant fever – which may progress to a more chronic form and can also produce serious complications affecting the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems. Humans get infected mainly by drinking unpasteurized milk and/or exposure to aborted fetuses, placentas or infected animals and by an occupational risk. Status of small ruminant brucellosis is not well addressed in Ethiopia. Studies conducted indicate that the prevalence of the disease is high in lowlands as compared with middle and highlands. Since brucellosis has no effective treatment; vaccination, test and slaughter, hygiene and awareness creation are the best alternative strategies.