Skip to main content
Doctoral thesis, 2021

Epidemiology of Brucella infection and cost of reproductive disorders in dairy animals in Assam and Bihar, India

Pratim Deka, Ram


Brucellosis is one of the most important zoonotic diseases in the world and one of the most important causes of reproductive disorders in livestock. The disease is endemic in India. The This study aimed to assess seroprevalence, risk factors, and clinical predictors of Brucella infection in dairy animals, along with the relevant knowledge and practices of farmers and also the cost of reproductive disorders in dairy farming. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the states of Assam and Bihar, India through a primary survey of 534 randomly selected dairy farming households and serological investigation of 740 blood samples collected from their dairy animals (cattle and buffalo).  
From laboratory analysis, animal-level Brucella seropositivity was 15.9% in Assam and 0.3% in Bihar. Three identified risk factors for Brucella seropositivity in Assam were geographical location (district) (p<0.001), age of dairy animals (p=0.008) and mating system (p=0.07).  Occurrence of retained placenta was the most important clinical symptom (OR 20.7) for predicting Brucella infection. Only a small percentage of farmers (3.4%, n=18) knew about brucellosis. Actions to prevent Brucella infection by the farming community were negligible. The estimated cost of reproductive disorders was USD 36.1 per dairy animal per year which represented approximately 4.1% of the mean value of dairy animals (USD 877). Reproductive disorders caused an estimated annual economic cost of USD 59.0 million in Assam and USD 453.9 million in Bihar. 
The findings help in identifying future research priorities and limitations and designing effective Brucella control programme in dairy farming in India and beyond.


Brucella; bovine; risk factors; prevalence; predictors; knowledge; reproductive problems; economics; India

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2021, number: 2021:78
ISBN: 978-91-7760-833-2, eISBN: 978-91-7760-834-9
Publisher: Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Pratim Deka, Ram
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

URI (permanent link to this page)