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Aim: The current study was undertaken to assess the prevalence, risk factors of brucellosis and presence of pathogenic bacteria isolated from camel milk in Garrisa County, Kenya.
Methodology: The study design was cross-sectional where questionnaires were administered to farmers to assess the risk factors associated with brucellosis. The experimental study was also employed to identify bacteria in milk samples which were collected from 104 camels. Fifty milk samples were obtained from local farms while 54 were from sales point at Garissa market. Further test for brucellosis using milk ring test was also carried out.
Results: The overall prevalence of brucellosis in camel milk was 8%. Most (12.5%) of the positive samples were from Dadaab Sub-county while the rest of the positive samples were from Fafi (5.9%) and Balambala (5.9%) sub-counties. All the 54 samples obtained from Garissa market were negative of brucellosis. Of the total (118) bacteria isolates, those from the farm level were 68.6% and from market were 31.2%. The bacteria isolated from the 104 milk samples were Pseudomonas spp. (32.2%), Salmonella spp. (30.5%), Staphylococcus spp (21.2%), Eschericia coli (8.5%) and Shigella spp. (7.6%). The risk factors that significantly (p<0.05) associated brucellosis were: age of lactating camels (higher in camels aged above 20 years), herd size (higher in camels from herd sizes of between 30-50 camels) and herding of camels with other livestock (higher in camels kept with other livestock).
Conclusion: In conclusion, a few milk samples from camels in Garissa County were found to have brucellosis and were heavily infected with bacteria which can cause mastitis. Considering that most people in the study area drank raw milk, spread of these bacteria to man is a high possibility and thus animal and public health officers should implement one health disease control strategies.
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