Which Brucella organisms have human pathogenicity?

Updated: Apr 22, 2021
  • Author: Nicholas John Bennett, MBBCh, PhD, FAAP, MA(Cantab); Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Brucella organisms, which are small aerobic intracellular coccobacilli, localize in the reproductive organs of host animals, causing abortions and sterility. They are shed in large numbers in the animal’s urine, milk, placental fluid, and other fluids. Twelve species have been identified, [2, 3]  named primarily for the source animal or features of infection. Of these, the following 4 have moderate-to-significant human pathogenicity:

  • Brucella melitensis (from sheep; highest pathogenicity)

  • Brucella suis (from pigs; high pathogenicity)

  • Brucella abortus (from cattle; moderate pathogenicity)

  • Brucella canis (from dogs; moderate pathogenicity)

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