Submitted: 24 Oct 2013
Revised: 26 Nov 2013
Accepted: 04 Dec 2013
First published online: 05 Oct 2016
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Int J Enteric Pathog. 2014;2(1): e15610.
doi: 10.17795/ijep15610
  Abstract View: 2279
  PDF Download: 1394

Research Article

Brucellosis Risk Factors in the Southwestern Province of Khuzestan, Iran

Seyed Mohammad Alavi 1 * , Sasan Mugahi 2, Ruhangiz Nashibi 2, Saeid Gharkholu 3

1 Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, I.R. Iran
2 Faculty of Medicine, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, I.R. Iran
3 Hazrat Rasoul Hospital, Ramshir, I.R. Iran
*Corresponding author: Seyed Mohammad Alavi, Infectious and Tropical Disease Research Center, Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, Ahvaz, I.R. Iran. Tel: +98-6113387724, Email:


Background: Brucellosis is an endemic infectious disease in Iran. Prevention strategies are based upon identification of risk factors for brucellosis.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the principal risk factors for brucellosis in Khuzestan Province, Southwestern Iran.

Patients and Methods: In this retrospective study, the medical records of 162 admitted patients, 81 brucellosis cases and 81 controls with other unrelated conditions, were reviewed. The study was undertaken in the Razi Hospital, Teheran, I.R. Iran, a university hospital where infected patients throughout Khuzestan are refereed. The diagnostic criteria of the disease were the Wright test and 2-Mercaptoethanol (2ME) agglutinin assay with titers greater than 1:160 and 1:80, respectively, and clinical symptoms compatible with brucellosis. Statistical analyses were performed with the SPSS 16.0 software. Univariate analysis was performed by calculating the odds ratio (OR) and the 95% confidence interval (CI) to compare cases and controls for each variable.

Results: Of a total of 81 patients with brucellosis, 38 (46.8%) had had direct contact with animals, 47 (58%) had consumed high risk foods, and 48 (59.2%) were from rural areas. Analysis showed that brucellosis had a significant association with untreated milk consumption (OR 5.57, 95% CI = 1.77–17.08, P = 0.002), slaughtered meat (OR: 8.77, 95% CI = 1.07–71.81, P = 0.03), direct contact with animals and individuals who had a nomadic lifestyle (OR: 3.57, 95% CI = 1.34–9.54, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: In the studied region, the main risk factors for brucellosis are: consumption of untreated milk/dairy products, slaughtered meat and direct contact with animals. Therefore, improved veterinary services and public health education are a requisite to control the disease.

Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:

The results of this study are useful in the diagnosis of brucellosis as a major public health hazard in Khuzestan, an important area of Southwestern Iran. Also, the results have implications for the prevention of this pathology

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