Laboratory diagnostic methods and reported outbreaks of anthrax in Ethiopia
Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, a Gram-positive, non-motile, spore-forming bacterium. It is a globally distributed disease, having been reported from all continents that are populated heavily with animals and humans. The objectives were to review general laboratory diagnostic testing methods and reported outbreaks of anthrax in Ethiopia. Anthrax was second top zoonotic priority next to rabies and endemic in Ethiopia that may occur in May and June every year (Anthrax season) in several farming localities. Animal hosts acquire the disease through grazing, usually by ingestion or inhalation while there are three major routs of transmission: ingestion, inhalation and cutaneous. This review indicated that anthrax remains to be major public and animal health problem in Ethiopia. Although suspected cases of anthrax are reported from several districts, they are not well confirmed by laboratories. Prevention and control of anthrax in animals effectively reduces its impact on public health and the national economy. The control of anthrax outbreaks among domestic animals is primarily dependent on rapid identification and treatment of affected animals; enhanced surveillance for additional cases; implementation of control measures including quarantine, prophylaxis, vaccination and the proper disposal of dead animals with decontamination is critical.
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