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By Brucella Abortus and Undulant Fever

Abstract

Bovine brucellosis, caused by the bacterium Brucella abortus, is an economically important cause of abortions in cattle. B. abortus also affects other species including bison, buffalo and elk; some species are maintenance hosts for this organism. Infections in wildlife can hinder eradication efforts in cattle. In addition, B. abortus is a human pathogen. In humans, brucellosis can be a serious, debilitating and sometimes chronic disease that may affect a variety of organs. Most cases are the result of occupational exposure to infected animals, but infections can also occur from ingesting contaminated dairy products. In addition, B. abortus could be used in a bioterrorist attack. Etiology In cattle, bison and buffalo, brucellosis is mainly caused by Brucella abortus, a Gram-negative coccobacillus or short rod. This organism is a facultative intracellular pathogen. Up to nine B. abortus biovars (1-9) have been reported, but some of these biovars differ only slightly and their status is unresolved. Other Brucella species uncommonly associated with disease in cattle include Brucella melitensis and B. suis. (For information on B. suis or B. melitensis, see the factsheets titled “Porcine Brucellosis ” and “Ovine and Caprine Brucellosis, ” respectively.) Genetic and immunological evidence suggests that all members of the genus Brucella are closely related, and some microbiologists have proposed that this genus be reclassified into a single species (B. melitensis), which contains many biovars. This proposal is controversial, and both taxonomic systems are currently in use. The multiple species nomenclature is used in this factsheet. Species Affected Most species of Brucella are primarily associated with certain hosts; however, infections can also occur in other species, particularly when they are kept in close contact. Maintenance hosts for Brucella abortus include cattle, bison (Bison spp.) water buffalo (Bubalus bubalus), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), elk and camels. A feral pig population has recently been reported to maintain B. abortus. A variety of other species can become "spill-over " hosts where this organism is enzootic. B. abortus has been reported in horses, sheep, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, goats

Topics: chamois, pigs, raccoons, opossums, dogs, coyotes, foxes, wolves and other species
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.180.4884
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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