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Brucellosis Testing

(B. melitensis & B. abortus)

(Goat/Sheep/Cattle)

Description

Brucellosis in animals is caused by a few species of Gram-negative coccobacillus of the genus Brucella.  The disease is generally characterized by abortion, retained placenta, and to a lesser extent, arthritis, orchitis and infection of the accessory sex glands in males. Infection occurs primarily through ingestion of the organisms.

UBRL Livestock Diagnostics offers Brucellosis testing B. abortus & B. melitensis only. The Brucellosis test is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for in vitro detection of antibodies against Brucella melitensis in serum of sheep & goats and Brucella abortus in serum of cattle, goat & sheep)

(Testing for B. ovis (Ram Infertility test) is not being offered at this point, if interested please call or visit our 'Contact us' page)

How are goats and sheep infected? 

  • Goats & sheep infect themselves by licking aborted fetuses, placentas, newborn offspring, vaginal discharges, or by consuming feed contaminated with these materials.
  • Respiratory acquired infections can occur when animals or wind disturb contaminated dust.
  • Milkers can spread the infection through unsanitary milking practices.

Three out of the six Brucella species relevant for livestock & humans are discussed here: (B. melitensis; B. abortus & B. ovis).

Brucella melitensis – This bacterium causes an infectious disease that can affect most domestic animals, but GOATS & SHEEP are especially susceptible. The disease causes abortion at approximately the fourth month of pregnancy. B. melitensis has not been found recently in the United States; however, the last outbreak was in southern Texas in 1999 in cattle herd and in a goat & sheep herd. B. melitensis is common in goats in Mexico & Latin America where it is the major cause of human brucellosis. It also occurs in small ruminants in southern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Africa. B. melitensis causes undulant fever in humans, which is highly pathogenic and a serious public health problem.

Brucella abortus – is a cattle disease agent that can, rarely, infect GOATS & SHEEP. Most species of Brucella are primarily associated with certain hosts; however, infections can also occur in other species, particularly when they are kept in close contact. Maintenance hosts for B. abortus include cattle, bison, water buffalos, elk, feral pigs and camels. A variety of other species can become "spill-over" hosts such as horses, sheep, goats, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, chamois, pigs, raccoons, opossums, dogs, coyotes, foxes & wolves. B. abortus can be found in wildlife hosts in some regions, including the Greater Yellowstone Area of North America.

Brucella ovis - causes infertility in sheep but does not spread to people or other animals.

(Testing for B. ovis (Ram Infertility test) is not being offered at this point, if interested please call or visit our 'Contact us' page)

 

 

References:

https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/pdfs/B_MelitensisFactSheet.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/brucellosis/clinicians/brucella-species.html

http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/brucellosis_abortus.pdf