n Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research - Brucellosis knowledge, attitudes and practices of a South African communal cattle keeper group - original research

Volume 86 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0030-2465
  • E-ISSN: 2219-0635



Brucellosis remains an animal and public health concern in South Africa, given the intensity and widespread distribution of outbreaks in cattle. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among cattle keepers in the Whittlesea community of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which utilises communal grazing. Individual cattle keepers (N = 227) who attended prearranged meetings in selected villages were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) regarding bovine brucellosis. We compared KAP scores between previous brucellosis-affected villages and unaffected villages. We compared attitude and practices scores between those who had heard of brucellosis and those who had not and between those above the 75th percentile knowledge score and those below. The KAP for the study population were described using frequency tables. Scores of different groups were compared using the Welch t-test or the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Knowledge scores of those who had heard of brucellosis (60%) showed a bimodal distribution with a 0/18 primary peak and 5–6/18 secondary peak. Attitude scores showed a median of 7/14 (interquartile range [IQR] 6–9), with 98% requesting more information on brucellosis. Practices scores showed a median of 6/18 (IQR 3–8), with highrisk practices identified that could facilitate brucellosis transmission. There were significant differences in attitude and practices scores between the groups above and below the 75th percentile knowledge score. The community showed poor knowledge, poor to average practices and average to good attitude. Identified high-risk practices highlight the risk of potential introduction and transmission of brucellosis between cattle and zoonotic transmission to humans.

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