Seroprevalence of Brucella spp. and Rift Valley fever virus among slaughterhouse workers in Isiolo County, northern Kenya
Bartlow, Andrew W.
Middlebrook, Earl A.
MetadataShow full item record
Brucella spp. and Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) are classified as priority zoonotic agents in Kenya, based on their public health and socioeconomic impact on the country. Data on the pathogen-specific and co-exposure levels is scarce due to limited active surveillance. This study investigated seroprevalence and co-exposure of Brucella spp. and RVFV and associated risk factors among slaughterhouse workers in Isiolo County, northern Kenya. A crosssectional serosurvey was done in all 19 slaughterhouses in Isiolo County, enrolling 378 participants into the study. The overall seroprevalences for Brucella spp. and RVFV were 40.2% (95% CI: 35.2–45.4) and 18.3% (95% CI: 14.5–22.5), respectively while 10.3% (95% CI 7.4%-13.8%) of individuals were positive for antibodies against both Brucella spp. and RVFV. Virus neutralisation tests (VNT) confirmed anti-RVFV antibodies in 85% of ELISApositive samples. Our seroprevalence results were comparable to community-level seroprevalences previously reported in the area. Since most of the study participants were not from livestock-keeping households, our findings attribute most of the detected infections to occupational exposure. The high exposure levels indicate slaughterhouse workers are the most at-risk population and there is need for infection, prevention, and control programs among this high-risk group. This is the first VNT confirmation of virus-neutralising antibodies among slaughterhouse workers in Isiolo County and corroborates reports of the area being a high-risk RVFV area as occasioned by previously reported outbreaks. This necessitates sensitization campaigns to enhance awareness of the risks involved and appropriate mitigation measures.