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Brucellosis is an infection caused by a bacteria of the Brucella type.[1] Symptoms might include fever, headache, muscle pains, and joint pains.[2] Over 500 thousand cases are reported a year as of 2009.[3]

Signs and symptoms

The clinical presentation of Brucellosis in an affected individual is- abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite and swollen glands.[4]


Infections in humans are caused by four specific types of Brucella: B. abortus, B. canis, B. melitensis, and B. suis.[1]Brucellosis in humans is usually associated with consumption of unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses made from the milk of infected animals—primarily goats, infected with B. melitensis and with occupational exposure of laboratory workers, veterinarians, and slaughterhouse workers.[5]


After a series of physiological mechanisms Brucellae are transported to the lymphatic system where replication may occur; as well as in the spleen, kidney, breast tissue, or joint, to name but a few other areas in the human body.[1]


In terms of a diagnosis in an affected individual, we find that it can be done via culture, serological tests, or nucleic acid amplification assays.[6]


Antibiotics such as tetracyclines, in combination with doxycycline, are effective against Brucella bacteria. However, the use of more than one antibiotic is needed for several weeks, because the bacteria incubate within cells.[7].


An outbreak infecting humans took place in Lanzhou, China, in 2020 after the Lanzhou Biopharmaceutical Plant, which was involved in vaccine production, accidentally pumped out the bacteria into the atmosphere in exhaust air due to use of expired disinfectant. The outbreak affected over six thousand people.[8][9]


Brucellosis first came to the attention of British medical officers in Malta during the Crimean War, and was referred to as Malta Fever. Jeffery Allen Marston described his own case of the disease in 1861. The causal relationship between organism and disease was first established in 1887 by David Bruce.[10][11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Hayoun, MA; Muco, E; Shorman, M (January 2020). "Brucellosis". PMID 28722861. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. "Signs and Symptoms | Brucellosis | CDC". 9 October 2018. Archived from the original on 30 December 2020. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  3. Inc, Gideon Informatics; Berger, Dr Stephen (2020). Brucellosis: Global Status. GIDEON Informatics Inc. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4988-2801-7. Archived from the original on 2021-08-28. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  4. "Brucellosis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  5. Wyatt HV (October 2005). "How Themistocles Zammit found Malta Fever (brucellosis) to be transmitted by the milk of goats". Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The Royal Society of Medicine Press. 98 (10): 451–4. doi:10.1177/014107680509801009. OCLC 680110952. PMC 1240100. PMID 16199812.
  6. Yagupsky, Pablo; Morata, Pilar; Colmenero, Juan D. (18 December 2019). "Laboratory Diagnosis of Human Brucellosis". Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 33 (1): e00073–19. doi:10.1128/CMR.00073-19. ISSN 1098-6618. Retrieved 19 July 2022.
  7. Solera, Javier (November 2010). "Update on brucellosis: therapeutic challenges". International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 36 Suppl 1: S18–20. doi:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2010.06.015. ISSN 1872-7913. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  8. China reports outbreak of brucellosis disease ‘way larger’ than originally thought Archived 2021-05-24 at the Wayback Machine 18 September 2020, accessed 18 September 2020
  9. "Archive copy". Archived from the original on 2021-05-24. Retrieved 2020-10-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. Wilkinson L (1993). "Brucellosis". In Kiple KF (ed.). The Cambridge World History of Human Disease. Cambridge University Press.
  11. Brucellosis named after Major-General Sir David Bruce at Who Named It?