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Brucellosis Disease : Important Points


Kerala launched preventive measures after a few cases of brucellosis, a zoonotic infection, have been detected in some dairy animals.

  • Earlier in September 2020 Brucella abortus S19Δ per vaccine” was developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s -Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) for brucellosis prevention in the dairy sector.

Zoonotic Diseases:

  • It is a disease that passes into the human population from an animal source directly or through an intermediary species.
  • Zoonotic infections can be bacterial, viral, or parasitic in nature, with animals playing a vital role in maintaining such infections.
  • Examples of zoonoses include HIV-AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, and the current Covid-19 disease.


  • It is a bacterial disease caused by various Brucella species, which mainly infect cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs.
  • It is also known as Malta fever or Mediterranean fever.
  • Brucellosis is endemic in India causing huge economic losses to dairy industry due to:
    1. Infertility
    2. Abortion
    3. Birth of weak off springs
    4. Reduced productivity
    5. Infection to Humans:
  • Infection:
    • Brucellosis has infected over 3000 people in China.
  • Humans generally acquire the disease through:
    • Direct contact with infected animals.
    • Eating, drinking contaminated animal products, unpasteurized milk.
    • Inhaling airborne agents.
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that person-to-person transmission of brucellosis is “extremely rare” but some symptoms may reoccur or never go away.
  • Symptoms: Fever, sweats, malaise, anorexia (psychological disorder in which one eats less due to fear of weight gain), headache and muscle pain.
  • Treatment and prevention:
    • It is usually treated with antibiotics, including rifampin and doxycycline.
    • Avoiding unpasteurized dairy products and taking safety precautions such as wearing rubber gloves, gowns or aprons, when handling animals or working in a laboratory can help prevent or reduce the risk of getting brucellosis.
    • Other preventive measures include cooking meat properly, vaccinating domestic animals, etc.