General information

The causative agent of brucellosis are gram-negative, aerobic bacilli of the genus Brucella. Brucellosis in cattle, pigs, sheep and goats is notifiable upon suspicion. The disease occurs in both animals and humans. Several Brucella species are known, including B. canis (canine brucellosis), B. abortus (bovine brucellosis), B. melitensis (ovine and caprine brucellosis), B. ovis (brucellosis in rams, infectious epididymitis) and B. suis (porcine brucellosis). Host-specificity of Brucella species is only limited.

Brucella canis is transmitted genitally or via the oral route by latently infected animals. After 2 to 4 weeks, bacteraemia develops. In pregnant female dogs, there may be abortions in the last trimester of gestation or weak puppies are born. Male dogs suffer from inflammation of the testicles and epididymis and can become infertile. The main symptoms of brucellosis in ruminants are abortions, birth of weak animals, inflammation of the testicles and epididymis, and infertility. In humans, the infection leads to fever, fatigue, night sweats, headaches and feelings of cold. The occurrence of cases in humans is always related to the disease being present in domestic or wild animals.