Brucella are gram-negative coccobacilli that commonly infect cows (Brucella abortus), pigs (Brucella suis), goats (Brucella melitensis), and dogs (Brucella canis), along with wild animals such as deer, elk, and moose. The main pathogenic species of Brucella are Brucella melitensis, Brucella suis and Brucella abortus. Brucella melitensis is a gram-negative coccobacillus bacterium from the Brucellaceae family. It mainly affects the reproductive tract of goats and sheep, and in some regions is the major cause of abortion in them. It can also negatively impact fertility and lactation over time. B. melitensis has the broadest host range, infecting cattle, camels and dogs, in addition to sheep, goats and humans. Brucella suis infections in pigs causes chronic inflammatory lesions in the reproductive organs or orchitis and may affect joints and/or other organs. Similar to B. melitensis, B. suis can cause abortion in pregnant hosts. Other impacts of the disease are sterility, posterior paralysis and spondylitis. It is transmitted mainly by ingestion of infected tissues or fluids. It can cause undulant fever. B. suis are gram-negative, facultative intracellular coccobacilli and can specifically produce in phagocytic cells. They are also non-spore-forming, non-capsulated, and non-motile. Brucella suis are differentiated into five strains. Strains 1-3 infect boars and pigs. Strain 2 has been found in wild boars but without signs of infection while they do infect pigs and hares. Brucella abortus is a species of the genus Brucella. Natural hosts of B. abortus are cattle and other bovidae. Abortion and placentitis are common effects on the pregnant animal.
When humans come in contact with an infected animal or animal products that are contaminated with Brucella, brucellosis may result. Most human infections are occupational. Over 70 percent of reported cases of brucellosis occur in the meat-processing and livestock industries. Infection is generally via skin wounds, but the organisms can also be inhaled. A common route of Brucella infection is eating or drinking infected dairy products that have not been pasteurized. Human infections are caused most frequently by B. melitensis, B. suis, and B. abortus, while B. canis causes only rare infections. B. melitensis is the most virulent. People infected with B. melitensis can suffer serious complications, including infection and inflammation of the bones and joints, and occasionally, the heart and brain. About 100-200 cases of brucellosis occur every year in the United States. Incubation period is one to three weeks, and flu like symptoms appear in the infected person, such as fever, sweats, headache, back pain, and weakness. Severe complications such as CNS infections or infections in the heart lining occur in about 5 percent of cases. Chronic symptoms like recurrent fever, arthritis, and fatigue may occur up to one year from illness onset. Information from ARUP laboratories.
Brucellosis plays an important role in the economy and health of many developing countries because of its impact on both livestock and humans. Source: Regenstrief LOINC
Basic Part Properties
- Part Display Name
- Brucella sp
- Part Type
- Component (Describes the core component or analyte measured)
- Created On
- Construct for LOINC Short Name
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Synonyms: Brucella sp.
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