Brucellosis is an infectious disease that occurs in humans following contamination from various animals infested with this bacterium. Brucella infection often occurs in domestic animals and is transmitted to humans through contact with both animals and the consumption of products from them. The infection can severely affect multiple organs and systems of the body.
What is the cause of brucellosis?
Brucellosis is a systemic infection transmitted from certain animals to humans. This is caused by several types of bacteria in the brucella family. Brucella melitensis (oi, goat); Brucella suis (pork); Brucella abortus (cows, buffalo, elan, camilla); Brucella canis (dogs). Although all these types of bacteria can cause human brucella, it appears that melitensis is the most widespread in the world as a cause of infection in humans.
How is brucellosis transmitted to humans?
Brucellosis is transmitted to humans in 3 main ways: the consumption of foods that come from infested animals; by air; penetration of the bacterium into the body through open wounds, etc. The most common way of contamination in humans is through the consumption of dairy or milk products from cows, sheep or goats. Transmission of the disease from one person to another is very rare. Breastfeeding mothers can transmit the infection to their babies. Doctors also claim that the infection can be transmitted sexually.
How is brucellosis diagnosed?
Following blood tests it is possible to discover the appearance of the bacterium brucella in the laboratory analysis. Also in the analysis and investigation of bone marrow.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms and signs of brucellosis may occur within a few days or months of exposure to the bacterium. While some people may develop mild symptoms, others may develop long-term chronic symptoms. These include: fever (intermittent and recurrent); sweating; joint, abdominal or chest pain; fatigue; weakness; dizziness; headache; depression; irritability; loss of appetite; weight loss; cough; breathing difficulties; spleen and liver enlarged.
How is brucellosis treated?
The main treatment is the administration of antibiotics. Due to the fact that the disease has been constantly relapsing, doctors support the imposition of several types of antibiotics concurrently. Their combination depends on several factors - the severity of the disease, age or case of pregnancy. In general, the treatment is long-term and lasts about 6 weeks. The rapid detection of the disease and the immediate administration of the treatment greatly improves the symptomatology and prevents many of the complications associated with this infection. Recovery can take several weeks or even months. Doctors argue that with the prompt administration of the treatment, the risk of the disease recurring remains at 5-10%.
Can brucellosis be prevented?
There is no vaccine for humans against this infection. But you can shelter yourself from this infection if you avoid the consumption of unpasteurized milk or products containing this type of milk from infested animals. It is also important to avoid the consumption of raw meat products and to cook enough meat at risk. Those who care for animals or work with them must use barrier methods against the disease (gloves, masks, etc.) to avoid exposure to the infection.
What are the complications?
In general, if the disease is treated properly with antibiotics then the onset of complications is extremely low. After infection with brucella-like bacteria, many severe complications can occur, including damage to systems and organs. damage to bones and joints (spondylitis and osteomyelitis); cardiovascular diseases (endocarditis, myocarditis, pericarditis); impaired central nervous system (meningoencephalitis) gastrointestinal diseases (hepatitis, liver abscess, spontaneous peritonitis); pulmonary diseases (pneumonia); eye problems.