Brucella abortus surveillance of cattle in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and a case for active disease surveillance as a training tool

Tukana, Andrew, Hedlefs, Robert, and Gummow, Bruce (2016) Brucella abortus surveillance of cattle in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and a case for active disease surveillance as a training tool. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 48 (7). pp. 1471-1481.

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Abstract

There have been no surveys of the cattle population for brucellosis in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) for more than 15 years. This study used disease surveillance as a capacity building training tool and to examine some of the constraints that impede surveillance in PICTs. The study also developed and implemented a series of surveys for detecting antibodies to B. abortus in cattle in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands contributing to OIE requirements. The findings indicated lack of funds, lack of technical capacity, shortage of veterinarians, high turnover of in-country officials and lack of awareness on the impacts of animal diseases on public health that were constraining active disease surveillance. During the development and implementation of the surveys, constraints highlighted were outdated census data on farm numbers and cattle population, lack of funds for mobilisation of officials to carry out the surveys, lack of equipment for collecting and processing samples, lack of staff knowledge on blood sampling, geographical difficulties and security in accessing farms. Some of the reasons why these were constraints are discussed with likely solutions presented. The detection surveys had the objectives of building capacity for the country officials and demonstrating freedom from brucellosis in cattle for PNG, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. PNG, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands all demonstrated freedom from bovine brucellosis in the areas surveyed using the indirect ELISA test. Fiji had an outbreak of brucellosis, and the objective was to determine its distribution and prevalence on untested farms. The Muaniweni district surveyed during the training had a 95 % confidence interval for true prevalence between 1.66 and 5.45 %. The study showed that active disease surveillance could be used as a tool for training officials thus, improves surveillance capacity in resource poor countries.

Item ID: 46399
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-7438
Keywords: B. abortus, cattle, animal disease surveillance, prevalence, training, Pacific Islands, tropics
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A version of this publication was included as Chapter 5 of the following PhD thesis: Tukana, Andrew S. (2018) A study of Brucellosis in cattle within the Pacific Island Community as a model for disease surveillance and reporting. PhD thesis, James Cook University, which is available Open Access in ResearchOnline@JCU. Please see the Related URLs for access.

Funders: AusAID
Projects and Grants: AusAid #57668
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2016 07:48
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070704 Veterinary Epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences @ 100%
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