- An infectious disease due to the bacteria Brucella that causes rising and falling (undulant) fevers, sweats, malaise, weakness, anorexia, headache, myalgia (muscle pain) and back pain. Brucellosis is named after its bacterial cause. It also called undulant fever because the fever is typically undulant, rising and falling like a wave. Brucellosis is transmitted through contaminated and untreated milk and milk products and by direct contact with infected animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camels, buffaloes, wild ruminants and, very recently, seals), and animal carcasses. Transmission can be through abrasions of the skin from handling infected animals. In the US, infection occurs more frequently by ingesting contaminated milk and dairy products. Groups at elevated risk include abattoir (slaughterhouse) workers, meat inspectors, animal handlers, veterinarians, and laboratory workers. The incubation period of brucellosis is usually one to three weeks, but sometimes may be several months after exposure. The symptoms are like those with many other febrile diseases, but with a marked effect on the musculoskeletal system evidenced by generalized aches and pains and associated with fatigue, prostration and mental depression. Urogenital symptoms may dominate the clinical presentation in some patients. The duration of the disease can vary from a few weeks to many months. Brucellosis is an extremely variable disease. In the acute form (less than 8 weeks from the onset of illness), the features are nonspecific and "flu-like." In the undulant form (8 weeks to a year after onset), the symptoms include undulant fevers, arthritis, and orchiepididymitis (inflammation of the testis and epididymis) in young males. In the chronic form (more than a year after onset), symptoms may include chronic fatigue syndrome-like, depressive episodes. The sequelae (long-term consequences) of brucellosis are also very variable. They may include granulomatous hepatitis, arthritis, spondylitis, anemia, leukopenia (low white blood cells), thrombocytopenia (low platelets), meningitis, uveitis (inflammation of the uvea of the eye), optic neuritis (inflammation of the nerve to the retina of the eye), and endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart, heart valves and great blood vessels).
* * *An infectious disease caused by the bacterium Brucella, characterized by fever, sweating, weakness, aches, and pains, and transmitted to humans by direct contact with diseased animals or through ingestion of infected meat, milk, or cheese, and particularly hazardous to veterinarians, farmers, and slaughterhouse workers; although some crossing over by species may occur, Brucella melitensis, B. abortus, B. canis, and B. suis characteristically affect goats, cattle, dogs, and swine, respectively. SYN: febris undulans, Malta fever, Mediterranean fever (1), undulant fever, undulating fever.- bovine b. a disease in cattle caused by Brucella abortus; in pregnant cows, characterized by abortion late in pregnancy, followed by retained placenta and metritis; in bulls, orchitis and epididymitis may occur; the organism may localize in the udder and thus appear in milk from infected cows. SYN: Bang disease.
* * *bru·cel·lo·sis .brü-sə-'lō-səs n, pl -lo·ses -.sēz a disease caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella:a) a disease of humans of sudden or insidious onset and long duration caused by any of four organisms (Brucella melitensis of goats, B. suis of hogs and rarely cattle, B. abortus of cattle and rarely hogs, and B. canis of dogs), characterized by great weakness, extreme exhaustion on slight effort, night sweats, chills, remittent fever, and generalized aches and pains, and acquired through direct contact with infected animals or animal products or from the consumption of milk, dairy products, or meat from infected animals called also Malta fever, undulant feverb) CONTAGIOUS ABORTION
* * *n.a chronic disease of farm animals caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella, which can be transmitted to humans either by contact with an infected animal or by drinking nonpasteurized contaminated milk. Symptoms include headache, fever, aches and pains, sickness, loss of appetite, and weakness; occasionally a chronic form develops, with recurrent symptoms. Untreated the disease may last for years but prolonged administration of tetracycline antibiotics or streptomycin is effective.
* * *bru·cel·lo·sis (broo″sə-loґsis) infection caused by species of Brucella. In the natural animal reservoirs such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, deer, and rabbits, it may cause infertility or abortion. In humans coming in contact with such animals or their infected products or tissue, it is a generalized infection involving primarily the reticuloendothelial system, characterized by fever, sweating, weakness, malaise, and weight loss. Called also Malta fever, Mediterranean fever, and undulant fever.
Medical dictionary. 2011.