This paper reports the results of a cross-sectional study conducted between October 2010 and May 2011 in two conveniently selected camel-rearing districts of Afar, Awash-Fentale and Amibara, North East Ethiopia with the objective of determining the prevalence and risk factors of camel and human brucellosis. A total of 768 camel blood sera were collected by simple random sampling from eight pastoral and agro-pastoral residences and human sera were collected from 200 purposely selected clinical patients from two health centres of the districts. Sera were screened using Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) and positive samples were then confirmed by Complement Fixation Test (CFT). The overall prevalence of camel brucellosis in the districts investigated was 11.9% by RBPT and 7.6% by CFT and the overall prevalence of human brucellosis was 16% by RBPT and 15% by CFT. The logistic regression on animal level including age, herd size, presence of ruminants and parity of the camels showed statistically significant difference and were the potential risk factors associated with camel brucellosis with significance levels of (P= 0.026, 0.004, 0.0001 and 0.004 respectively. The ownership of Milking Camels, living within the pastoral and agro-pastoral communities, keeping of livestock in close contact, consumption of raw camel milk and milk products, assisting animals during parturition and grooming livestock were potential risk factors associated with human brucellosis. The results of the present investigation indicate that human and camel brucellosis is widely distributed in the study districts of Afar Regional State. Hence, controlling the risk factors, proper hygienic practices, public education and team work between veterinary and health personnel should be improved. An effort to mitigate the economic losses and public health hazard caused by the disease has to be made.
Key words: Camel brucellosis, CFT/ RBPT, Human brucellosis, Epidemiology, Risk factors, Afar region, Ethiopia