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Sero-prevalence and risk factors of brucellosis among suspected febrile patients attending a referral hospital in southern Saudi Arabia (2014–2018)

  • Alkahtani, Abdullah M.1
  • Assiry, Mohammed M.2
  • Chandramoorthy, Harish C.1
  • Al-Hakami, Ahmed M.1
  • Hamid, Mohamed E.1
  • 1 College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, 61421, Saudi Arabia , Abha (Saudi Arabia)
  • 2 Main laboratory, Aseer Central hospital, Ministry of Health, Abha, Saudi Arabia , Abha (Saudi Arabia)
Published Article
BMC Infectious Diseases
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Jan 09, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12879-020-4763-z
Springer Nature


BackgroundHuman brucellosis is an infectious zoonotic disease caused by Brucella spp. It is one of the most public health problems that remains largely neglected in developing counties, including Saudi Arabia. Brucellosis is particularly prevalent among rural people who have constant contact with livestock.MethodsA cross-sectional sero-epidemiological study conducted in Aseer Central Hospital, South Saudi Arabia, between 2014 and 2018 among 7567 patients. Serum samples were analyzed for Brucella antibodies using slide agglutination test. Serology results and patient’s demographic data were analyzed by GraphPad Prism. Results were presented as mean ± SEM and differences between two groups were assessed by t-test and p < 0.05 was considered significant.ResultsThe prevalence of brucellosis among the admitted suspected 7567 cases was 12.8% (10.4–15.7%; CI 95%). The highest prevalence rate was detected during 2015, the rate decreased to the lowest level during the last three years (p < 0.05). Higher rate of brucellosis was observed among males than females (p < 0.05) and most cases were reported during summer season (p < 0.05). The highest prevalence rate was observed in age group 21–40 year old (40.5%) followed by 41–60 years (27.7%). The lowest prevalence rate was noticed in old and young children (15 and 3%, respectively). Cross-transmission of brucellosis was seen within family (1%) and high titers (> 1280) was noticed in 22% of the hospitalized patients. The major symptoms were fatigue, hyperhidrosis, fever and joint pain.ConclusionOur findings showed a high prevalence of human brucellosis among suspected patients in Aseer region. This indicates that clinical suspicion is a valid criterion and the endemic nature of the disease. The disease status requires early laboratory detection and confirmation to start prompt treatment to decrease patients suffering.

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