Epidemiology of Brucellosis in Ethiopia

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Veterinary Medicine


Brucellosis, one of the major zoonotic disease problems globally, and bovine tuberculosis (bTB) have profound economic effects on livestock owners as well as causing major human health impacts, and are often tackled together. In Africa, one of the largest cattle populations is found in Ethiopia. Emerging cattle sectors in Ethiopia aiming to increase milk supply are vulnerable to diseases such as brucellosis and bTB which can thrive in intensive husbandry systems. The aim of this project is to explore the epidemiology of brucellosis in humans and cattle in Ethiopia using research sites in the country established by ETHICOBOTS (for its bTB research), to establish risk factors for brucellosis in humans and animals in Ethiopia, and to perform technology transfer for diagnosis (serological and bacteriological) and molecular characterisation of brucellosis. A better understanding of Brucella prevalence in the study sites in Ethiopia, and which Brucella species are causing disease in animals and humans, will inform policy-makers of the relevance of developing parallel control strategies for both brucellosis and bTB.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/N503563/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2019
1798449 Studentship BB/N503563/1 01/05/2016 30/09/2019 Bedaso Mammo Edao
Description Brucellosis in Ethiopian livestock and occupationally associated herders, farmworkers, and animal attendants; was serologically identified and the causative agents, Brucella species, were isolated from cattle and goats. The Whole-genome sequencing of Brucella isolates was carried out at Cambridge Vet School to further understand the phylogenetic structure of the isolates, and compare with other Brucella isolates existing in the global Brucella database.
Exploitation Route The findings of this research will be used to inform policymakers of Ethiopian agricultural and public health sectors to design feasible control strategies of the disease both in animals and humans employing a one health approach. The whole-genome sequencing and information obtained from the phylogenetic analysis would help to further understand the circulating Brucella strains so as to develop and standardize Brucella diagnostics in Ethiopia. The knowledge of circulating strains would also help to develop a vaccine if Ethiopia adopts vaccination as a means of control in Endemic areas.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare