Brucellosis (Undulant fever or Malta fever) is an infectious disease caused by the Brucella bacteria, which induces inconstant fevers, sweating, weakness, anorexia, headaches, depression and muscular and bodily pain. The popular name of the condition is originated due to the inconstance (or undulance) of the fever, which raises and falls constantly. Brucellosis is named after its researcher David Bruce. more...
The disease is transmitted either through contaminated or untreated milk (and its derivates) or through direct contact with infected animals, which may include sheep, pigs, goats, cattle, camels, bison, and other ruminants. This also includes contact with their carcasses.
In animals this disease is also known as contagious abortion and infectious abortion. In 1897 Danish veterinarian Bernhard Bang isolated Brucella abortus as the agent and the additional name Bang's disease was assigned. In modern usage "Bang's disease" is often corrupted to just "bangs" when ranchers discuss the disease or vaccine.
The incubation period of brucellosis is, usually, of one to three weeks, but some rare instances may take several months to surface. The symptoms are like those associated with many other febrile diseases, but with emphasis on muscular pain and sweating. The duration of the disease can vary from a few weeks to many months.
The disease's sequelae are highly variable and may include granulomatous hepatitis, arthritis, spondylitis, anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, meningitis, uveitis, optic neuritis and endocarditis.
Antibiotics like tetracyclins, chloramphenicol, rifampin and the aminoglycosides streptomycin and gentamicin are effective against Brucella bacteria. However, the use of more than one antibiotic is needed for several weeks, due to the fact that the bacteria incubates within cells.
The main way of preventing Brucellosis is the proper pasteurization of all milk that is to be ingested by human beings, either in its pure form or as a derivate, such as cheese.
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