Ayuba Caleb Kudi1, Abubakar Bello1 and Julius Awah Ndukum2
1Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Infectious Diseases Group
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom
This paper describes the prevalence of exposure of camels to tuberculosis in Northern Nigeria. A one-step antibody detection assay employing a cocktail of selected M. tuberculosis and M. bovis antigens with a blue latex-based signal detection system was used. Nearly 17% of the 1395 animals tested showed positive reactions in the rapid test with a variable prevalence according to age and sex. The age of the animal was more important factor than sex for antibody detection rates recorded in this study. Positive reactions increased significantly (P<0.05) with age (camels older than 10 years: 9.82%) and more (P<0.05) females (11.40%) than male camels showed positive test results. The rapid test for TB is simple, easy to perform, rapid and more affordable than other tests. Camels infected with M. bovis poses great risk of exposure to uninfected livestock and humans and should be removed from the population. The speed of the test is useful for making decision about the herd or area status in modelling a control programme. Although the findings did not indicate clinical disease, but showed that a large percentage were exposed and could be diseased, hence indicating that these positive camels could pose a great risk of infection to other livestock and humans.
Key words: Camel, serology, Mycobacterium species, Northern Nigeria, tuberculosis