Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Brucellosis (Disease)


Brucellosis is a rare infection, contracted from farm animals and dairy products, that may cause recurrent illness.

Brucellosis may be acute, chronic and last for years. Acute brucellosis may begin with mild flu-like symptoms, or symptoms such as: abdominal pain, back pain, chills, excessive sweating, fatigue, fever, headache, joint pain, loss of appetite, weakness, weight loss, muscle pain and swollen glands. In some cases, depression and weight loss are the only signs of infection.

Several potential complications can develop and may include: sacroiliitis, spondylitis, and osteomyelitis, Endocarditis, Hepatitis, Hepatic abscess, Colitis, Pneumonia and Uveitis.

Causes and Risk factors

Brucella can infect cattle, goats, camels, dogs, and pigs.

The bacteria can spread to humans if coming in contact with infected meat or the placenta of infected animals, or eating or drink unpasteurized milk or cheese. The disease rarely occurs in developed countries, where domestic animals are normally free of the infection.

People working in jobs where they often come in contact with animals or meat are at higher risk.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Blood test may be done, as well as bone marrow culture and serology for brucellosis antigen. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection and prevent it from coming back. Longer courses of therapy may be needed if there are complications. Drinking and eating only pasteurized milk and cheeses is the most important way to prevent brucellosis. ...

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