Epidemiology of Brucellosis and Q Fever in Linked Human and Animal Populations in Northern Togo

Dean, Anna S.; Bonfoh, Bassirou; Kulo, Abalo E.; Boukaya, G. Aboudou; Amidou, Moussa; Hattendorf, Jan; Pilo, Paola; Schelling, Esther (2013). Epidemiology of Brucellosis and Q Fever in Linked Human and Animal Populations in Northern Togo. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e71501. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0071501

fetchObject.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (223kB) | Preview

Although brucellosis (Brucella spp.) and Q Fever (Coxiella burnetii) are zoonoses of global importance, very little high quality data are available from West Africa.

A serosurvey was conducted in Togo's main livestock-raising zone in 2011 in 25 randomly selected villages, including 683 people, 596 cattle, 465 sheep and 221 goats. Additionally, 464 transhumant cattle from Burkina Faso were sampled in 2012. The serological analyses performed were the Rose Bengal Test and ELISA for brucellosis and ELISA and the immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for Q Fever Brucellosis did not appear to pose a major human health problem in the study zone, with only 7 seropositive participants. B. abortus was isolated from 3 bovine hygroma samples, and is likely to be the predominant circulating strain. This may explain the observed seropositivity amongst village cattle (9.2%, 95%CI:4.3-18.6%) and transhumant cattle (7.3%, 95%CI:3.5-14.7%), with an absence of seropositive small ruminants. Exposure of livestock and people to C. burnetii was common, potentially influenced by cultural factors. People of Fulani ethnicity had greater livestock contact and a significantly higher seroprevalence than other ethnic groups (Fulani: 45.5%, 95%CI:37.7-53.6%; non-Fulani: 27.1%, 95%CI:20.6-34.7%). Appropriate diagnostic test cut-off values in endemic settings requires further investigation. Both brucellosis and Q Fever appeared to impact on livestock production. Seropositive cows were more likely to have aborted a foetus during the previous year than seronegative cows, when adjusted for age. This odds was 3.8 times higher (95%CI: 1.2-12.1) for brucellosis and 6.7 times higher (95%CI: 1.3-34.8) for Q Fever.

This is the first epidemiological study of zoonoses in Togo in linked human and animal populations, providing much needed data for West Africa. Exposure to Brucella and C. burnetii is common but further research is needed into the clinical and economic impact.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Pilo, Paola


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture




Public Library of Science




Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2014 15:27

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:






Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback