- Aerobic, intracellular Gram-negative coccobacilli [Fig 1] causing brucellosis.
- Grows on various media, usually within 24-48h of inoculation.
- Zoonotic disease, the most important species for human infections:
- B. abortus (cattle, buffalo)
- B. melitensis (goat, sheep, camel)
- B. suis (swine, wild animals)
- B. canis (dog)
- Less common:
- B. ovis (sheep)
- B. neotomae (desert and wood rats)
- Three marine species also described as afflicting marine mammals (B. delphini, B. pinnipediae, B. cetaceae) have been described causing human disease.
- Most human infections are due to B. arbortus and B. melitensis.
- There is a correlation between seroprevalence in animals and human cases.
- Recently, several taxonomists merged the free-living, environmental Ochrobactrum species with members of the genus Brucella. However, this may cause clinical misunderstanding if these are not reported distinctively.
- Laboratories reporting Brucella species causing human disease should make a distinction between these from non-pathogenic organisms, namely Ochrobactrum species.
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