- Clinical science
Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection caused by different species of Brucella, a genus of gram-negative bacteria. The most common vectors of the disease are cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs. Transmission occurs through ingestion of infected animal products, contact with infected animals, or inhalation of bacteria. Although brucellosis is a major public health concern in many countries, it has become rare in the United States as result of animal health policies. Brucellosis manifests with flu‑like symptoms. However, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and focal organ infection (e.g., osteomyelitis, endocarditis, spondylitis) may also occur. Recommended treatment is a combined regimen of doxycycline and rifampin.
Pathogen: Brucella spp. are facultative intracellular gram-negative coccobacilli
- Brucella melitensis: mainly affects sheep, goats, and camels → Malta fever
- Brucella abortus: mainly affects cattle, but also bison, deer, and elk → Bang's disease
- Rare causes of disease in humans
- Contaminated food, esp. raw/unpasteurized dairy products or meat
- Contact with infected animals
- Risk factors: occupational or recreational exposure to infected animals and animal products, e.g., farmers, veterinarians, hunters, slaughterhouse workers, laboratory personnel
- Incubation period: ∼ 2–4 weeks
- Flu-like symptoms
- High, potentially
- Painful lymphadenopathy
- Localized infection
- Obligation to report: According to the CDC, brucellosis is a nationally notifiable disease.