Brucellosis is an acute or chronic illness caused by bacteria of the Brucella genus. There are 5 important species of Brucella: B. abortus, B. melitensis, B. suis, B. canis, and B. ovis, of which cattle, goats, pigs, dogs, and sheep are the respective reservoir animals. Transmission can occur though ingestion of unpasteurized dairy products, contact with infected animal tissue, or inhalation of aerosolized bacteria in a laboratory setting. Minnesota’s livestock have been brucellosis free since 1985; most infections are acquired in Brucella endemic countries.
In 2015, 4 cases were reported; 3 cases were infected with B. suis and 1 was infected with B. melitensis. Ages were 63, 66, 68, and 86 years; 3 were male. All were hospitalized and survived. One case likely acquired brucellosis by ingesting unpasteurized camel milk in Africa, 2 likely acquired it while hunting feral swine in Texas or handling meat of feral swine, and 1 case likely acquired infection while working in a pig slaughter facility 60 years ago. Two of the cases' clinical isolates resulted in exposure to 27 clinical laboratory staff; none resulted in infection.
From 2011 to 2015, 10 cases were reported. Six likely acquired their infection outside the United States and 4 were domestically acquired.
The median number of cases reported annually was 3 (range 0 to 4). Six were infected with B. melitensis and 4 with B. suis. The median age of cases was 60 years (range, 30 to 86 years). Four of 8 cases for which race was known were black, 3 were Asian, and 1 was white.
- For up to date information see>> Brucellosis (Brucella species)
- Full issue>> Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2015