Epidemiology and management of a bovine brucellosis cluster in Northern Ireland

D. A. Abernethy*, J. Moscard-Costello, E. Dickson, R. Harwood, K. Burns, E. McKillop, S. McDowell, D. U. Pfeiffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


An epidemiological investigation was undertaken of 41 bovine brucellosis outbreaks that occurred within a 10-month period, in a region where eradication measures appeared to be succeeding. The primary outbreak comprised three herds with significant within-herd spread and a high probability of multiple abortions. Direct contact between cattle at pasture was the most likely means of between-herd transmission for most (71%) outbreaks, with an attack rate of 28.1% in herds immediately neighbouring the primary outbreak herds and 11.3% in the next concentric ring of farms. Resolution of the incident was attributed to a rapid response by the veterinary authorities, detailed epidemiological investigations, repeated, prolonged testing of contact herds and employment of parallel testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-229
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Issue number4
Early online date07 Dec 2010
Publication statusPublished - 01 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Bovine brucellosis
  • Brucella abortus
  • Epidemiology
  • Outbreak management


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