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Molecular Characterization of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis in Cattle and Humans at the North West of Pakistan
Muhammad Zahoor Khan1,3, Tahir Usman1,2*, Ummer Sadique3, Muhammad Subhan Qureshi3, Mohammad Farooque Hassan4, Muhammad Shahid5 and Adnan Khan1,3
1Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Engineering Laboratory for Animal Breeding, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, PR China; 2College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Pakistan; 3Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar 25130, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 4Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Sakrand, Sindh, Pakistan; 5Microbiology and Biotechnology Center, Veterinary Research Institute (VRI), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, 25000, Pakistan
*Corresponding author:;


Brucellosis is a fatal zoonotic disease caused by members of the genus Brucella, resulting in significant reproductive losses in animals. The present study was designed to evaluate the prevalence of Brucella abortus and Brucella melitensis by screening the serum of the blood samples through Serum Plate Agglutination Test (SPAT) assay and by duplex PCR. Blood samples were randomly collected from cattle (n=200) and human (n=200) and were placed in two groups with respect to their contact (direct and indirect contact) with cattle. The overall prevalence of brucellosis in cattle and human through SPAT assay was 15 and 6%, respectively. Amongst human, the prevalence was 10% in female and 2% in the male. The high rate of infection was found in female than male due to the frequent contact of females with cattle compared to males in the study area. Molecular diagnosis using duplex PCR showed 13 and 4% prevalence of brucellosis in cattle and human, respectively. The duplex PCR revealed 6 and 2% positive cases in female and male, respectively (P>0.05). Collectively, these results suggested a high prevalence of the diseases in humans (females) having direct contact with livestock. Furthermore, the results infer that the optimized PCR approach is more efficacious, specific and reliable compared to the routine conventional SPAT assay.

Key words: Brucellosis, Duplex PCR, Prevalence, SPAT, Zoonosis


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)