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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Preventive veterinary medicine
Title The history of brucellosis in the Pacific Island Countries and Territories and its re-emergence
Volume 122
Issue 1-2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 14-20
Publisher Elsevier
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167587715300271
There are few publications on brucellosis within the Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs). The reason is possibly because the cattle population has been reportedly free of the disease for many years until a re-emergence occurred in the Fiji Islands (Viti Levu) in 2009. This paper reports on the outbreak of brucellosis in Fiji and its progression between 2009 and 2013 in the context of an overview of brucellosis in the Pacific Island community. Review of the literature found only 28 articles with the oldest record of brucellosis being in 1965 in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and from human cases in Tonga in 1980. The Fiji outbreak of Brucella abortus occurred in cattle in 2009 (Wainivesi basin) in the Tailevu province. Prior to the outbreak, Fiji declared freedom from B. abortus to OIE in 1996 after a successful eradication campaign. During the course of the outbreak investigation, serum samples were collected from between 9790 and 21,624 cattle per annum between 2009 and 2013 from 87 farms on the main island of Fiji (Viti Levu). Blood samples were tested for brucellosis using the Rose Bengal Test (RBT) in 2009 and the indirect ELISA test in subsequent years. At the time of the outbreak in Fiji (2009) the apparent prevalence in cattle was 1.50% and this has fluctuated since the outbreak. The True Prevalence (TP) for the main island in Fiji for the indirect ELISA tests was 2.40% in 2010, reached a peak of 3.49% in 2011 then reduced to 0.12% by 2013. The significant reduction in prevalence compared to 2010 is most likely due to the control programs being implemented in Fiji. The re-emergence of B. abortus in Fiji could be attributed to the lack of monitoring for the disease until 2009 combined with inadequate management of exposed animals, thus illustrating how important it is for authorities not to become complacent. Continued awareness and monitoring for brucellosis is essential if future outbreaks are to be avoided.