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Prev Vet Med. 2013 Jun 1;110(2):169-76. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2012.11.013. Epub 2012 Dec 3.

Prevalence and risk-mapping of bovine brucellosis in Maranhão State, Brazil.

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Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Prof. Dr. Orlando Marques Paiva, 87, CEP 05508-270, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Between 2007 and 2009, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in Maranhão State, Brazil to estimate the seroprevalence of and risk factors for bovine brucellosis. In total, 749 herds and 6779 cows greater than two years of age were blood sampled. At the time of sampling a questionnaire to collect details on possible risk factors for bovine brucellosis was administered to the participating herd manager. A logistic regression model was developed to quantify the association between herd demographic and management characteristics and the herd-level brucellosis status. Spatial analyses were carried out to identify areas of the state where the presence of brucellosis was unaccounted-for by the explanatory variables in the logistic regression model. The estimated herd-level prevalence of brucellosis in Maranhão was 11.4% (95% CI 9.2-14) and the individual animal-level prevalence was 2.5% (95% CI 1.7-3.6). Herds with more than 54 cows older than two years of age, herds that used rented pasture to feed cattle, and the presence of wetlands on the home farm increased the risk of a herd being brucellosis positive. Infected farms were identified throughout the state, particularly in the central region and on the northwestern border. Spatial analyses of the Pearson residuals from the logistic regression model identified an area in the center of the state where brucellosis risk was not well explained by the predictors included in the final logistic regression model. Targeted investigations should be carried out in this area to determine more precisely the reasons for the unexplained disease excess. This process might uncover previously unrecognized risk factors for brucellosis in Maranhão.

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