Brucellosis

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Brucellosis is a global zoonotic infection secondary to any of the four Brucella spp. that infect humans. It can be focal or systemic, but has a particular affinity for the musculoskeletal system. 

Brucellosis occurs worldwide but is particularly prevalent in Mediterranean regions, Middle East, South Asia, and Central and South America 2

Patients present typically with fever, which can be undulating and last for 2-3 weeks. Arthralgia, myalgia and back pain are also common 5

Brucella spp. are gram-negative coccobacilli, which are mostly spread animal-to-human via unpasteurised dairy products. There are a number of species that act as primary hosts to infect humans as secondary hosts. There are four species that infect humans 1-4:

  • Brucella melitensis (camel, sheep)
  • Brucella suis (pigs)
  • Brucella abortus (cattle)
  • Brucella canis (dogs)

Brucellosis may affect any body part and may be focal or systemic, but it has an affinity for infecting the spine:

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Article Information

rID: 39900
Section: Pathology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Undulant fever
  • Brucellosis: general

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