Brucellosis is a global zoonotic infection secondary to any of the four Brucella spp. that infect humans. It can be focal or systemic, but has a particular affinity for the musculoskeletal system.
Brucellosis occurs worldwide but is particularly prevalent in Mediterranean regions, Middle East, South Asia, and Central and South America 2.
Patients present typically with fever, which can be undulating and last for 2-3 weeks. Arthralgia, myalgia and back pain are also common 5.
Brucella spp. are gram-negative coccobacilli, which are mostly spread animal-to-human via unpasteurised dairy products. There are a number of species that act as primary hosts to infect humans as secondary hosts. There are four species that infect humans 1-4:
- Brucella melitensis (camel, sheep)
- Brucella suis (pigs)
- Brucella abortus (cattle)
- Brucella canis (dogs)
Brucellosis may affect any body part and may be focal or systemic, but it has an affinity for infecting the spine:
- musculoskeletal manifestations 1,2
- CNS manifestations (neurobrucellosis) 3
- abdominal manifestations 4,5
- thoracic manifestations
- urogenital manifestations 5
- epididymo-orchitis (10%)
- 1. Solera J, Lozano E, Martínez-Alfaro E et-al. Brucellar spondylitis: review of 35 cases and literature survey. Clin. Infect. Dis. 1999;29 (6): 1440-9. doi:10.1086/313524 - Pubmed citation
- 2. Pourbagher A, Pourbagher MA, Savas L et-al. Epidemiologic, clinical, and imaging findings in brucellosis patients with osteoarticular involvement. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2006;187 (4): 873-80. doi:10.2214/AJR.05.1088 - Pubmed citation
- 3. Al-Sous MW, Bohlega S, Al-Kawi MZ et-al. Neurobrucellosis: clinical and neuroimaging correlation. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2004;25 (3): 395-401. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol (full text) - Pubmed citation
- 4. Al-Nakshabandi NA. The spectrum of imaging findings of brucellosis: a pictorial essay. Can Assoc Radiol J. 2012;63 (1): 5-11. doi:10.1016/j.carj.2010.09.011 - Pubmed citation
- 5. Dean AS, Crump L, Greter H et-al. Clinical manifestations of human brucellosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6 (12): e1929. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001929 - Free text at pubmed - Pubmed citation