Brucellosis | zdrav.kz

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Exams and Tests


Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional



Brucellosis is an infectious disease that occurs from contact with animals carrying brucella bacteria.


Brucella can infect cattle, goats, camels, dogs, and pigs. The bacteria can spread to humans if you come in contact with infected meat or the placenta of infected animals, or if you eat or drink unpasteurized milk or cheese.

Brucellosis is rare in the United States. About 100 to 200 cases occur each year. Most cases are caused by the Brucellosis melitensis bacteria.

People working in jobs where they often come in contact with animals or meat -- such as slaughterhouse workers, farmers, and veterinarians -- are at higher risk.


Acute brucellosis may begin with mild flu-like symptoms, or symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Back pain

  • Chills

  • Excessive sweating

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Swollen glands

  • Weakness

  • Weight loss

High fever spikes often occur every afternoon. The name undulant fever is often used to describe this disease because the fever rises and falls in waves.

The illness may be chronic and last for years.

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will examine you and ask about your symptoms. You'll also be asked if you've been in contact with animals or possibly eaten dairy products that were not pasteurized.

Tests that may be done include:

  • Blood culture

  • Bone marrow culture

  • Urine culture

  • CSF (spinal fluid) culture

  • Serology (blood test) for brucellosis antigen

  • Biopsy and culture of specimen from affected organ


Antibiotics, such as doxycycline, streptomycin, gentamicin, and rifampin, are used to treat the infection and prevent it from coming back. Often, you need to take the drugs for 6 weeks. If there are complications from brucellosis, you will likely need to take the drugs for a longer period.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Symptoms may come and go for years. Also, the illness can come back after a long period of not having symptoms.

Possible Complications

Health problems that may result from brucellosis include:

  • Bone and joint sores (lesions)

  • Encephalitis

  • Infective endocarditis

  • Meningitis

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your provider if:

  • You develop symptoms of brucellosis

  • Your symptoms get worse or do not improve with treatment

  • You develop new symptoms


Drinking and eating only pasteurized dairy products, such as milk and cheeses, is the most important way to reduce the risk of brucellosis. People who handle meat should wear protective eyewear and clothing, and protect skin breaks from infection.

Detecting infected animals controls the infection at its source. Vaccination is available for cattle, but not humans.


Source: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000597.htm

Information presented on this website is for general use. It intended to address issues of your concern. It is not intended to serve as a basis for professional diagnosis and treatment of diseases or health conditions.
Should you have health problems we suggest you to seek assistance from a licensed healthcare professional and medical organization. In the case of a medical emergency, please call emergency services immediately.