Serological survey of Brucella canis in dogs in urban Harare and selected rural communities in Zimbabwe
A cross-sectional study was conducted in order to detect antibodies for Brucella canis (B. canis) in dogs from urban Harare and five selected rural communities in Zimbabwe. Sera from randomly selected dogs were tested for antibodies to B. canis using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Overall, 17.6% of sera samples tested (57/324, 95% CI: 13.5–21.7) were positive for B. canis antibodies. For rural dogs, seroprevalence varied from 11.7% – 37.9%. Rural dogs recorded a higher seroprevalence (20.7%, 95% CI: 15.0–26.4) compared with Harare urban dogs (12.7%, 95% CI: 6.9–18.5) but the difference was not significant (p = 0.07). Female
dogs from both sectors had a higher seroprevalence compared with males, but the differences were not significant (p > 0.05). Five and two of the positive rural dogs had titres of 1:800 and 1:1600, respectively, whilst none of the positive urban dogs had a titre above 1:400. This study showed that brucellosis was present and could be considered a risk to dogs from the studied areas. Further studies are recommended in order to give insight into the epidemiology of brucellosis in dogs and its possible zoonotic consequences in Zimbabwe. Screening for other Brucella spp. (Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis) other than B. canis is also recommended.