Brucellosis is an acute or chronic illness caused by bacteria of the Brucella genus. There are five 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 2017, 3 confirmed cases were reported; all were infected with B. melitensis. Ages were 3, 37, and 69 years; 2 were female. All were hospitalized and survived. Two cases likely acquired B. melitensis by ingesting unpasteurized camel, cow, and/or goat milk in Africa, and 1 likely acquired B. melitensis while making cheese from unpasteurized cow milk in Mexico. Two case clinical isolates resulted in exposure of 18 clinical laboratory staff.
From 2007 to 2017, 20 cases were reported. Thirteen likely acquired their infection outside the United States and 7 were domestically acquired. The median number of cases reported annually was 2 (range 0 to 4). Thirteen were infected with B. melitensis, 5 with B. suis, 1 with B. abortus, and 1 with an unidentified Brucella species diagnosed by serology only. The median age of cases was 51 years (range, 3 to 86). Ten of 24 cases for which race and ethnicity were known were black, 7 were white, 5 were Hispanic, and 2 were Asian/ Pacific Islander.
- For up to date information see>> Brucellosis (Brucella species)
- Full issue>> Annual Summary of Communicable Diseases Reported to the Minnesota Department of Health, 2017