Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Brucella. The bacteria can spread from animals to humans.
There are several different strains of Brucella bacteria. Some types are seen in cows. Others occur in dogs, pigs, sheep, goats, and camels. Recently, scientists have seen new strains in the red fox and certain marine animals, including seals. Brucella in animals cannot be cured.
Britt and Mike joined two friends at a favorite restaurant for dinner and shared a large pizza. While they had a great time, later that night was a different story. All four awoke with severe nausea, stomachcramps and vomiting -- enough to send them to the emergency room. After running some tests, the ER doctor said they had a food-related illness. The culprit was a bacterium in the pizza.
Each year in the United States, some 76 million people experience food-related illnesses. New outbreaks are...
Brucellosis is rare in the U.S. because of effective animal disease control programs. Fewer than 200 people get sick with the disease each year in the U.S. It is most often seen in the spring and summer months in:
Brucellosis is considered a significant health threat in other parts of the world. The disease has been reported in more than a half-million people each year in 100 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
What Causes Brucellosis?
Brucellosis in humans occurs when a person comes into contact with an animal or animal product infected with the Brucella bacteria.
Very rarely, the bacteria may spread from person to person. Breastfeeding moms with brucellosis may pass the bacteria to their baby. Brucella may also be spread through sexual contact.
When you eat or drink something contaminated with the bacteria, such as unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat
Four types of Brucella bacteria cause the majority of brucellosis infections in humans:
B. melitensis. This type causes most cases of human brucellosis and is mainly found in sheep and goats. It is most often seen in:
B. suis. This infection found in wild pigs is the most common type of Brucella seen in the U.S. Brucellosis due to this strain most often occurs in the Southeast and California. It also occurs in Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia.
B. canis. The infection from this type of bacteria spreads from dogs. It is most often seen in:
North, Central, and South America
B. abortus. This infection comes from cattle. It occurs worldwide. It has been wiped out in several European countries, Japan, Israel, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.