Investigation on Brucella infection in farm animals in Saham, Sultanate of Oman with reference to human brucellosis outbreak

Yasmin Eltahir*, Anfal Al-Farsi, Waleed Al-Marzooqi, Alghalya Al-Toobi, Osman M. Gaafar, Maryne Jay, Yannick Corde, Shekar Bose, Abeer Al-Hamrashdi, Kaadhia Al-Kharousi, Sunil Rajamony, Muhammed Nadeem Asi, Nasseb Al-Saqri, Rudaina Albusaidi, Elshafie I Elshafie, Eugene H. Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The objective of this study was to investigate Brucella infection in farm animals in Saham, Oman, with reference to a survey carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries (MAF) for Brucellosis during the period of May to July 2016 in Saham, following an outbreak of human brucellosis. We wanted to apply different serological, bacteriological and molecular tests in a time frame (phase 1, 2 & 3) with reference to the pivotal time of a human brucellosis outbreak to ascertain the status of the disease in Saham area where the MAF survey was conducted. Blood samples were collected from farm animals and sera were screened in parallel for Brucella antibodies using different serological tests. Results: Using the RBT test, phase 1 sera showed seropositivity in sheep at 2.6%, (95% CI: 0.5-13.5%), in camel (5.9%, 1.1-27.0%), but not in sera from goats and cattle (0%). Using I-ELISA, seropositivity in goat was 3.1% (0.6-15.8%), with no positive sheep and cattle. Using c-ELISA for camel we found a seropositivity of 5.9% (1.1-27.0%). Furthermore, CFT seropositivity in goats was 21.9% (CI: 11.3-38.9), cattle and sheep sera were negative and camel was 5.9% (1.1-27.0%). In phase 2, the seropositivity in goats was 1.9% (1.4-2.6%), sheep 4.5% (3.5-5.8%), cattle 1.1%, (0.5-2.3%) and camels 18.2% (5.1-47.7%), Phase 3 sera were collected 6 months after the human brucellosis outbreak. With RBT, the seropositivity in goats was 3% (1.0-8.5%), sheep 2% (0.6-7.1%) cattle 1% (0.2-5.5%). With I-ELISA, goats & camels were negative, sheep were 3% (1.0-8.5%) and cattle 1% (0.2-5.5%). Moreover, B. melitensis was isolated from a bronchial lymph node of the RBT and I-ELISA seropositive cow and confirmed by Multiplex PCR and biochemical tests. Conclusion: Using a retrospective study analysis of animal sera and following up after a human brucellosis outbreak, the present study showed a slight decrease in seropositivity of infected animals after the MAF implemented test and slaughter policy. The most interesting finding in this study was the isolation, identification and molecular characterization of Brucella melitensis in a cow (spillover), which is not a preferential host for Brucella melitensis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number378
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 2019


  • Brucella melitensis
  • Brucellosis
  • Oman
  • Saham

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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