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Brucellosis in Kazakhstan

#K-1347


Monitoring of Human and Animal Brucellosis in Kazakhstan

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Medicine
  • AGR-DIS/Disease Surveillance/Agriculture
  • MED-DID/Diagnostics & Devices/Medicine
  • AGR-DIG/Diagnostics/Agriculture

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
16.09.2005

Completion date
04.06.2012

Senior Project Manager
Weaver L M

Leading Institute
Kazakh Scientific Center for Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases, Kazakstan, Almaty

Supporting institutes

  • Kazakh Scientific-Research Veterinaty Institute, Kazakstan, Almaty

Collaborators

  • Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK, Surrey, Weybridge\nCanadian Food Inspection Agency, Canada, AB, Lethbridge\nUniversidad de Navarra, Spain, Pamplona

Project summary

Brucellosis is serious disease of worldwide concern, it causes human sufferings and economic losses. The animal disease is caused by 6 Brucella types (B. abortus, B. melitensis, B. suis, B. ovis, B. canis, B. neotomae, a new one B. maris), of which B. melitensis is considered the most virulent. To a certain extent, virulence can be measured by a capability of this Brucella type to cause brucellosis among cattle and humans, as well as among non-typical hosts such as sheep and goats. Thus, the B. melitensis infection becomes an ever more serious problem for health services in many countries. Around 96% of human brucellosis cases worldwide are caused by B. melitensis. True picture of brucellosis morbidity is not clear. Sickness rate in endemic areas, such as Mediterranean, Asia, certain regions of Africa, and Latin America, is in the range from 0.01 to 200 people per 100,000. Since brucellosis can be latent, it is suggestive that some animals can have latent forms of this disease. Therefore, available diagnosing methods fail quite often. When all animals infected with brucellosis cannot be identified, it becomes next to impossible to diagnose and prevent brucellosis among humans. As an alternative to traditional methods, new Canadian technologies have been intensively studied recently as a key screening technique in a number of countries (Canada, Argentina, South Africa, etc.).

Republic of Kazakhstan (RoK) is a country where livestock farming is an essential part of life owing to historical/cultural reasons and geographical/natural conditions. Brucellosis has become a problem of public health caused by growing livestock and urbanization and inadequate hygienic and sanitary surveillance. RoK focused on social and economic reforms during the transition period, thus overlooking the difficult epidemiologic situation. Late last century, more than 90% of livestock were transferred from public to private sector. Certain problems emerged in conducting counter-brucellosis actions. During the past 5 years, brucellosis incidence rate went up nearly 2 times. In 2004, morbidity in Kazakhstan was 23.7 people per 100,000 (3,596 cases). In some regions, the rate was 372.8 people per 100,000, while the register incidence rate was only 0.2-0.4% for animals judging be the official statistics. Moreover, there are problems in diagnosing brucellosis in Kazakhstan. We mean that there were cases when Brucella cultures were isolated from people in endemic brucellosis areas, though both humans and animals were found seronegative in those regions. As obvious, it would be better to combine bacteriological and serological methods when diagnosing brucellosis. It should be noticed that only serological methods have been used to diagnose brucellosis in animals, which would presumably give true counts of infected animals. The existing situation in Kazakhstan is such that effective methods for diagnosing brucellosis are not available and there are no good programs for detecting and preventing brucellosis. Therefore, infected animals remain a constant threat to people’s welfare. There is still no good brucellosis monitoring system in the country, with the result being that animal brucellosis prevention does not work and people continue getting infected.

Close cooperation between laboratories, veterinary services and local health departments should be a prerequisite for a successful brucellosis control. The proposed collaboration can be used to set up an efficient and effective monitoring program, which would combine the existing and new methods of diagnosing brucellosis in humans and animals living in Kazakhstan.

A good brucellosis monitoring program should include an optimal system for routine blood sampling from brucellosis suspected humans and animals and gathering epizootic, epidemiologic and clinical data for each inpidual case.

To understand and control epizootic and epidemic processes caused by brucellosis pathogen, it will be important to identify Brucella spp. antibodies in infected humans and animals and conduct genotyping of Brucella strains circulating in Kazakhstan, as well as to differentiate between field and vaccine strains. Another argument for performing this work will be the fact that there is absolutely no information on what types of Brucella circulate among animals. Human and animal Brucella isolates and their genetic characterization will play an important role in understanding a mechanism by which Brucellae spread, finding sources of the disease, improving brucellosis diagnosing techniques, and eliminating the disease in Kazakhstan.

It will be extremely important to correctly choose immunological methods for testing animals and humans infected with brucellosis. A review of actions taken in Kazakhstan to control the disease shows that common diagnostic techniques are not effective, that is they do not give 100% identification of infected inpiduals. New technologies will be required to improve monitoring system effectiveness. Such new technologies include Immuno-Enzymatic Analysis (IELISA, CELISA) and fluorescent polarization (FPA). These methods are successful now in Canada, Argentina, and South Africa. If the above mentioned methods are combined with the commonly used methods, it will become possible to early diagnose human and animal brucellosis and lay a foundation for an effective brucellosis monitoring system in Kazakhstan.

Project Staffing:

The proposed project will be staffed by KSCQZD specialists, specialists of the Kazakh Republican Sanitary and Epidemiological Station (KRSES), SRVI specialists, and ADRI specialists.

KSCQZD scientists (Kazakhstan) have a long experience in isolating Brucella strains from humans and animals; studying biological, immunological and molecular properties of isolates; determining their virulence; analyzing clinical types and biovars of Brucella; investigating human brucellosis serodiagnosis; making agglutination test diagnosctica, and mapping brucellosis morbidity in Kazakhstan.

KRSES scientists (Kazakhstan) have a wide experience in analyzing brucellosis morbidity in the Republic of Kazakhstan and epidemiological situation, as well as in isolating and identifying Brucella strains.

SRVI scientists (Kazakhstan) have a long experience in vaccinating livestock, in improving animal serodiagnosis techniques, and in producing biological preparations.

ADRI scientists (Canada) have a long experience and technical capacities in studying isolates at the genetic level, as well as in developing new technologies and using them in a number of endemic brucellosis countries.


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