Aim: To gain deeper insight into the seroprevalence of brucellosis, which remains a zoonotic disease of worldwide public health concern, by reviewing studies from countries including North Africa, the Middle East, and India.
Methods: Studies on brucellosis performed in countries that are neighbors or important trading partners of the European Union and on trade animals and their products were analyzed. We reviewed 37 seroprevalence studies on brucellosis published from 1948 to 2009 retrieved from Pubmed, Google, and ScienceDirect.
Results: The set of studies was heterogeneous in the number of samples and laboratory tests used. We included studies from Algeria (n=1), Egypt (n=7), India (n=3), Iran (n=3), Iraq (n=1), Jordan (n=5), Libya (n=3), Saudi Arabia (n=3), Syria (n=1), Turkey (n=5), and Yemen (n=2). The total number of animals in these studies was 116317 (cattle 75375; buffalo 9644; sheep 10550; goats 14447; camels 6301). The prevalence of brucellosis in different animal species varied widely. Representative surveillance data have not recently been published in any of the countries.
Conclusions: Wars in the Middle East, insufficient preventive measures, the lack of adequate control programs in some countries, as well as uncontrolled animal transportation through "open" borders increased the risk that brucellosis will spread in some regions. New seroprevalence data are needed urgently to evaluate the current situation and for continuous monitoring of necessary control programs.