Brucellosis

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Are there home remedies for brucellosis?

There are many home remedies listed on the Internet for brucellosis. A few examples include colloidal silver, garlic, a spice termed Origanum syriacum, mixtures of essential oils, and many others. Scientific evidence is lacking about the effectiveness of these remedies. Patients should discuss with their doctors any remedies before using them.

What is the prognosis of brucellosis?

In general, the prognosis for patients infected with Brucella is very good. If individuals are treated appropriately within the first few months of symptom onset, they are curable with antibiotics and usually don't develop chronic disease. The symptoms usually improve and are completely gone within about two to six months. However, the prognosis is poor in people who develop organ changes or complications such as heart damage, neurological, or genitourinary problems caused by chronic Brucella infection. The mortality (death) rate is low for brucellosis (about 0.4%-2%).

Is it possible to prevent brucellosis? Is there a brucellosis vaccine?

It is possible to prevent or reduce the chances of developing brucellosis. Simple methods such as avoiding known infected animals, never drinking unpasteurized milk, and, if associating with potentially infected animals, wearing gloves and/or a mask reduces the chances of infection.

Because brucellosis is mainly a disease involving livestock, vaccines have been developed that are effective for cattle, sheep, and goats. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine available for use in humans.

REFERENCES:

Al-Nassir, Wafa. "Brucellosis." Medscape.com. Mar. 15, 2016. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/213430-overview>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Brucellosis." Nov. 12, 2012. <http://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Travelers' Health: Brucellosis." July 10, 2015. <http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/brucellosis>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/7/2016

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