Brucellosis is an infection caused by several species of Brucella bacteria and characterized by fever and bodywide symptoms.
Brucellosis is acquired mainly by having contact with infected animals or by consuming unpasteurized contaminated milk or other dairy products.
People typically have a fever, chills, a severe headache, low back pain, bone and joint pain, and other bodywide symptoms.
Most people recover in 2 to 3 weeks, even without treatment.
Doctors base the diagnosis on results of blood tests and cultures.
Two antibiotics are given at the same time to increase the chance of a cure.
Brucellosis is acquired mainly by
People can also acquire brucellosis if they have contact with infected dogs, deer, moose, buffalo, or other animals.
Brucellosis is rare in the United States, Canada, and Europe but is more common in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Mexico, and Central America. People at increased risk include laboratory workers and people who may handle infected animals or animal tissue, including meat packers, veterinarians, farmers, and livestock producers.
The bacteria can be spread through the air and thus could be used in biological warfare. However, brucellosis is rarely spread from person to person.
People typically have
Other early brucellosis symptoms include chills, night sweats, a severe headache, low back pain, bone and joint pain, and sometimes diarrhea.
Later symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, severe constipation, difficulty sleeping, and depression.
Sometimes infection develops in the brain, tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord (meninges), back bones (vertebrae), long bones (such as the thighbone), joints, or heart valves.
If people do not develop infections in these organs and tissues, they usually recover in 2 to 3 weeks, even without treatment. However, in some, the infection persists.
Doctors give two antibiotics at the same time to increase the chance of a cure. Usually, one of the antibiotics is doxycycline, given by mouth. The second antibiotic can be either streptomycin or gentamicin, injected daily, or rifampin or ciprofloxacin, given by mouth.
Generic NameSelect Brand Names
streptomycinNo US brand name