Prevalence and Risk Factors of Brucellosis among Veterinary Health Care Professionals in Northern West Bank- Palestine

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ابو هلال, محمد يوسف يونس
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An-Najah National University
Background: Few studies are investigating human brucellosis in Palestine. This study was conducted in 2020 to investigate the prevalence of brucellosis as a high-risk occupational disease for the veterinary profession in the northern governorates of the West Bank - Palestine. Aim: To estimate Brucella seropositivity among veterinary healthcare professionals in northern Palestine, and to assess the risk factors associated with seropositivity to Brucella. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in four governorates in the northern West Bank (Jenin, Nablus, Qalqylia, and Tulkarm). A sample of 100 veterinarians and animal-producing professionals was collected. Participants were interviewed face to face using a structured questionnaire to assess risk factors. Blood samples were collected to be screened for the presence of anti-Brucella IgG using the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technique and Rose Bengal Test (RBT). Data management and analysis were performed using SPSS (statistical package for social sciences) version 20th (SPSS Inc, USA). Chi-square test. Results: The seroprevalence of Brucellosis by ELISA and RBPT was 76% and 29% respectively. Risk factors in veterinarians and animal producing professionals were age, work sector, interaction with animal species, animals’ vaccination, disinfectant do not use, previous infection, and use of protective equipment during animal vaccination. Conclusion: Brucellosis is a high-risk occupational disease among veterinarians. Its prevalence rate among veterinary health care workers in the northern West Bank-Palestine was very high compared to neighboring countries and internationally.