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Mycobacterium bovis is present in animals in most developing countries where surveillance and
control activities are often inadequate or unavailable and pasteurization is rarely practiced.
In Nigeria, the disease is sporadic. The current status on the actual prevalence rate of bovine
tuberculosis at a national level is unknown but from the limited survey research which has been
reported over 30 years, the prevalence of bovine tuberculosis due to M. bovis ranges from 2.5%
in 1976 to 14% in 2007. The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of bovine
tuberculosis in slaughtered cattle and assess the knowledge attitude and preventive practices of
butchers and meat handlers.
A cross-sectional study was conducted at two abattoirs in Abuja, Nigeria from March 2013 -
April 2013. Structured questionnaires were used to collect data on social demographics, medical
information, work related exposure factors and preventive practices. The butchers and meat
handler were selected by simple random sampling. Cattle slaughtered at the abattoirs were also
screened for bovine tuberculosis using lateral flow technique and Ziehl Neelsen test. Bivariate
and multivariate data analyses were done using Epi-info software.
Out of a total of 185 serum and 5 tissue samples screened at both abattoirs, 32 (17.3%) and all 5
were positive for the rapid test lateral flow technique and Acid Fast stain respectively. The only
risk factor associated with bovine tuberculosis infection in these cattle was the sex (female) (p =
0.01). Of the 156 butchers and meat handlers on whom the questionnaire was administered, 115
(73.8%) were men and 41 (27.2%) were women. The following were significant by the level of
knowledge; the length of time worked at the abattoir (Odds Ratio OR) = 3.4, 95% CI = 1.6-7.4,
knowledge of mode of transmission (OR =2.4, 95% CI = 1.1-5.1), Potential risk associated with
your job (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.1-5.0), eating or drinking at place of work (OR = 0.6, 95% CI =
0.2-1.4), Additionally, the following factor were significantly associated with poor knowledge of
BTB ; drinking fresh milk ( OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2- 0.8), and not boiling their milk before
drinking ( OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2- 0.9), Seen a bovine tuberculosis lesion in your slaughtered (OR =
0.2, 95% CI = 0.2-0.5), What‘s done to lesion (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.0-4.8) and Do you
consume meat with these lesions (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.1-4.7). Multvariate analysis showed that
length of work (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 3.45, 95% CI= 1.3-9.0), and wether seen a bovine
tuberculosis lesion on your slaughtered cattle (AOR = 0.29, 95% CI= 0.1-0.7) were significant
by the level of knowledge.
The prevalence of bovine tuberculosis is under reported based on abattoir surveillance of
tuberculous tissue only. Butchers and meat handlers have a an increase risk of exposure due to
consumption of meat with lesion of tuberculosis and what is done when they come across lesion
of bovine tuberculosis due to the inadequate knowledge of the disease and its mode of
transmission. Butchers and meat handlers should be encouraged to seek for medical attention
early when a cough persists.
Keywords: Bovine Tuberculosis, TB prevalence, Butchers, Abattoirs, Nigeria.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic infectious and contagious Zoonotic disease of domestic, wild
animals and humans (1). Human and bovine tuberculosis (BTB) are two forms of tuberculosis that
cause significant disease in mammals (2). It is characterized by the formation of granulomas
(tubercles) in tissues and organs more significantly in lungs, lymph nodes, intestine, liver and
kidneys (3). Though primarily a bovine problem but infect animals causing tuberculosis in
camels, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, dogs, cats, badgers, lions, elephants, deers, primates and man
(4).The disease is zoonotic and therefore of public health significance (5). Human tuberculosis is
mainly caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis but in regions where bovine tuberculosis is
prevalent in animals, human tuberculosis cases due to Mycobacterium bovis may occur (6).
Zoonotic bovine tuberculosis is present in most developing countries where surveillance and
control activities are often inadequate or unavailable (7). The disease is widespread and affecting
livestock and human health in Africa (8). It is among the fastest killer disease in Nigeria today (9)
and developing countries as a whole (10). In Africa, the occurrence of tuberculosis due to
Mycobacterium bovis in human is difficult to determine accurately because of technical problems
in isolating the microorganism
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