Brucellosis (undulant fever, Mediterranean fever, Malta fever, Bang’s disease) is one of several zoonoses, a disease of animals transmissible to man.(94) The disease is caused by gram-negative bacilli of the genus Brucella. There are several species that cause human infections as well as animal brucellosis: Brucella abortus (cattle), B. suis (hogs), B. melitensis (goats, sheep), B. canis (dogs), and B. rangiferi tarandi—B. suis, biotype 4 (reindeer, caribou) (Table 1). B. ovis infects sheep and B. neotomae is found in desert wood rats, but neither species appears to cause human disease. Pregnant animals often have placentitis, and hence they may abort. The mammary gland is frequently involved in infected mammals, and the organism is usually present in their milk. Acute brucellosis in man is characterized by irregular fever, chills, sweats, and weakness. Chronic human brucellosis is often marked by fever, weakness, anxiety, and depression. There may be widespread granulomas in lymph nodes, bone marrow, liver, and spleen, as well as abscesses in bones, liver, spleen, kidneys, or brain.


Agglutination Test Human Brucellosis Brucella Abortus Brucella Species Brucella Melitensis 
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12. Suggested Reading

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  6. Spink, W. W., The Nature of Brucellosis, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1956.Google Scholar
  7. Young, E. J., and Corbel, M. J., Brucellosis: Clinical and Laboratory Aspects, CRC Press, Boca Raton, 1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendell H. Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis, and Departments of Medicine and MicrobiologyUniversity of Minnesota Medical SchoolMinneapolisUSA

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