Artan Bego1, Luljeta Alla1, Rovena Daja1, Shpëtim Qyra1, Silva Bino1,2, Albana Fico1,2
1Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Medicine, Tirana, Albania.
Aim. To give an overview of the epidemiological situation of brucellosis among the suspected patients with febrile syndrome, the geographic distribution, the course of illness and prevention measures needed.
Methods. This is a retrospective study including 558 patients hospitalized with fever syndrome during the year 2019. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect the socio-demographic and epidemiological data. All sera samples of the patients were tested for presence of anti-brucella antibody by SAT (Standard Agglutination Test). The titer of antibodies ≥ 1/160 was considered significant, based on manufacturer instructions.
Results. The mean age of patients was 42.5 years old with a range 1-87 years old, median 47 (IQR 25-62) 3.41% (19/558) of clinical samples resulted seropositive for presence of anti-brucella antibodies in significant titres.63.2% (12/19) of seropositive cases were males. The highest positivity rate, 6.2% (8/129) was found in age group 25-44 years old, (OR=2.5 (95%CI 1 – 6.4 p=0.05). Higher rate of positivity was detected in districts of Skrapar (33.3%), followed by Gramsh (25%), Pogradec (25%), Lushnja (17%) of samples tested. The months with the highest positivity rate were July (10.3%) (7/68) (OR=4.57, 95%CI 1.73-12.05 p<0.05), and January 7.1% (3/42) of samples tested. A significant decrease of seropositivity rate was found in 2019 (3.41%) as compared to 2009 (13.2%) (82/698) (p<0.001).
Conclusions. For several years, brucellosis has been a major zoonotic disease burden for public health and economic aspect in Albania. Brucellosis as a zoonotic disease is encountered more often on period 1-2 month after livestock birth seasons (July and January) without significant difference by gender. The south-east areas of Albania are most affected. Most important measures for control and prevention of the disease remain eradication of animal brucellosis through vaccination programs. The benefits of vaccination campaign and application of safety measures in livestock and environment in affected areas are clearly reflected also in human health through the decrease of morbidity of brucellosis during this period.
Keywords: n, anti-brucella antibody, brucellosis, Livestock vaccination.