Last reviewed 01/2018

Brucellosis is a generalised infection of Man involving primarily the reticuloendothelial system, caused by the Brucella species (Gram-negative rod). Brucella abortis usually infects cows and is the usual organism causing human infection in the UK. B. melitensis is more common in the Mediterranean region and affects goats.

Generally, infection is contracted from animals. Transmission of infection from humans rarely, if ever, occurs.

Yearly incidence rates range from 0.3 cases per million in the United Kingdom and most parts of the United States to above 1 case per 1000 in endemic regions, where the disease represents a considerable and increasing health burden (1).