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 through 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 2018, 2 confirmed cases were reported; both were infected with B. melitensis. Case ages were 34 and 49 years; both were male; both were hospitalized and survived. The exposure for both cases was likely ingesting unpasteurized camel milk in Africa. One case’s clinical isolate resulted in exposure of seven clinical laboratory staff.
From 2007 to 2018, 22 cases were reported. Fifteen 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). Fifteen 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 48 years (range, 3 to 86). Thirteen of the 22 cases for which race was known were black, 7 were white (of which 1 identified as 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, 2018