Brucella

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Brucella is a bacteria that spreads from animals to humans most commonly through ingesting a contaminated food product or direct contact with an infected animal. Human to human contact is very rare.[1] The incidence of confirmed infection in humans in the US hovers just over 100 cases total.[2] The incidence in other parts of the world is higher.[3]

Characteristics[edit]

Brucella is:

  • Gram-negative (does not retain a crystal violet stain used in the differentiation process)
  • coccobacilli (has a shape intermediate between cocci (spherical bacteria) and bacilli (rod-shaped bacteria))
  • non-spore-forming
  • non-motile
  • aerobic (grows in the presence of oxygen)
  • zoonotic (spreads to humans from animals)

Classification[edit]

There are six species of Brucella. Three can cause serious disease in humans: Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis. One species, Brucella canis causes mild disease and the other two species have not affected humans.[4]

Brucellosis[edit]

The disease caused by a brucella infection is called brucellosis. It causes an acute febrile illness associated with rigors, sweats, malaise, anorexia, headache, pain in muscles, joint, and/or back, and fatigue. If untreated, it can potentially cause a debilitating chronic infection in humans with reoccurring fevers, arthritis, swelling of the testicle and scrotum area, swelling of the heart (endocarditis), neurologic symptoms (in up to 5% of all cases), chronic fatigue, depression, swelling of the liver and/or spleen.[5][6]

Risk for exposure[edit]

The people most at risk for acquiring a Brucella infection are people who[7]:

  • consume undercooked meat or unpasteurized milk products from an infected animal
  • slaughterhouse workers
  • meat-packing plant employees
  • veterinarians
  • hunters dressing an infected animal
  • laboratory workers who handle the bacteria
  • an infant breastfeeding from an infected mother

Treatment[edit]

Treatment is a combination of broad spectrum antibiotics.[8]

Lean more[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/index.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/resources/surveillance.html
  3. Rubach, M. P., Halliday, J. E. B., Cleaveland, S., & Crump, J. A. (2013). Brucellosis in low-income and middle-income countries. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, 26(5), 404–412. http://doi.org/10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283638104
  4. Alton GG, Forsyth JRL. Brucella. In: Baron S, editor. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Galveston (TX): University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1996. Chapter 28. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8572/
  5. Rubach, M. P., Halliday, J. E. B., Cleaveland, S., & Crump, J. A. (2013). Brucellosis in low-income and middle-income countries. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, 26(5), 404–412. http://doi.org/10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283638104
  6. https://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/symptoms/index.html
  7. https://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/transmission/index.html
  8. Michael J. Corbel. (1997). Brucellosis: an Overview. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp 213-221. DOI: 10.3201/eid0302.970219
  9. Michael J. Corbel. (1997). Brucellosis: an Overview. Emerging Infectious Diseases. Vol. 3, No. 2, pp 213-221. DOI: 10.3201/eid0302.970219


The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history