Submitted to: Foodborne Disease Handbook
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/12/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Brucellosis is a zoonosis caused by species of the bacterial genus Brucella. Only three of the six species are important human pathogens: B. abortus, B. melitensis, and B. suis. Man is always an accidental host. Brucellosis contracted by food is usually associated with milk, cheese and meat and is primarily observed in the Mediterranean basin and Arabian peninsula where brucellosis is enzootic. Human brucellosis in the USA is usually linked to soft cheeses which have been consumed abroad or brought into this country. Due to their exposure to animals which may be infected, the risk of contracting brucellosis is highest among farmers, ranchers, dairymen, abattoir workers, and veterinarians. Cases of human brucellosis in the USA have been linked to abattoirs where feral pigs have been processed. Diagnostic microbiological clinicians are also at risk. Due to pasteurization of milk and brucellosis eradication programs, the incidence of human brucellosis is very low in the USA. The impact of brucellosis in humans is primarily lost labor, morbidity, and occasionally mortality.