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Brucellosis in humans: symptoms and treatment, prognosis

Brucellosis is one of the infectious diseases that a person encounters when in contact with infected animals and their metabolic products. Symptoms and treatment of brucellosis in humans depend on the type of bacteria, the disease can be mild or lead to the development of severe multiorgan failure, resulting in the death of the patient.


Brucellosis - what is it?

Brucellosis is an infectious zoonotic disease that is prone to a chronic course - the disease is characterized by damage to the musculoskeletal and nervous system, as well as to the genitals and the heart.

Human brucellosis

For the first time, the disease was widely spoken as far back as the 19th century, when the British scientists were isolated microbes that cause this disease. By the name of the scientist, the disease was called, and the microorganisms themselves were called brucella.

The causative agent of brucellosis is a small immobile bacterium of the genus Brucella. This genus consists of 6 species, each of which is further subdivided into several subtypes.

In humans, the disease is caused by three types of Brucella, whose owners are goats, sheep, cattle, pigs, hares and less often dogs.

Important! The identification of a specific type of bacterium plays an important role in the selection of treatment tactics and the prevention of the spread of the disease.

How is brucellosis transmitted, the causes of infection

Brucella have a pronounced penetrating ability and enter the body even through an intact (intact) mucosa. The bacterium itself is very stable in the external environment and retains its viability for up to several months, both in water and in meat.

When exposed to high temperatures, it dies almost instantly, is sensitive to the action of many antiseptics.

Brucellosis is transmitted to humans from various animals (goats, sheep, camels, yaks, pigs, etc.), which secrete the pathogen with feces, blood, saliva, milk and amniotic fluid. Transmission occurs by fecal-oral, less commonly by contact and by air.

Milk and dairy products, meat and wool are the most dangerous. Insufficient heat treatment of meat, the ingestion of dust mist, where brucella is contained, the use of raw polluted water - all these and other factors can cause the development of the disease in humans.

The disease can be transmitted from mother to fetus during labor and during breastfeeding.

Important! The susceptibility to brucellosis in humans is very high, i.e. contact or use of products contaminated with brucella almost always leads to the development of the disease. Immunity is unstable and lasts for six months. Repeated infection by another subtype of this bacterium is possible.

Symptoms of brucellosis in humans, the first signs

Symptoms of brucellosis in humans

Symptoms of brucellosis in humans depend on the stage and form of the disease. The incubation period (from the moment of infection to the first signs) lasts several weeks, less often stretches to a month.

According to the classification, there are several forms of brucellosis, their symptoms are different:

1. Acute. It develops relatively quickly. The patient is concerned about low-grade fever, weakness, malaise, pain in the joints. Lymph nodes gradually increase and symptoms of intoxication increase: high fever appears, the person is shaken and fevers. An ultrasound reveals an increase in the size of the liver and spleen.

Against the background of high temperature, the patient may feel relatively normal, which significantly complicates the early diagnosis of brucellosis, since many patients do not attach importance to this.

In this form, attention is paid to the disorder in the psycho-emotional sphere: hysteria, irritability, depression, loss of memory and efficiency. Patients suffer from pain in the joints and muscles. Lymph nodes are enlarged. The severity is determined by the type of pathogen and the individual characteristics of the patient.

2. Subacute. It proceeds with constant relapses. Patients present various complaints: from joint pain and fatigue to reduced vision and loss of libido. Allergic manifestations of the disease develop: eczema, dermatitis, skin itching and rash. Women may experience spontaneous miscarriages.

3. Chronic. Periods of relative improvement are replaced by periods of high fever and symptoms. Among the symptoms of chronic brucellosis in humans, disorders of the musculoskeletal system, neurological disorders and pathology of the genitourinary system, both in men and women, predominate. The defeat of almost all organs and systems.

4. Residual. The causative agent is no longer present in the body, but signs of residual disturbances of the nervous and motor systems remain. There is fatigue, excessive sweating, pain in the joints, muscle atrophy and other signs of brucellosis.

Diagnosis of brucellosis

Diagnosis of brucellosis is carried out in specially equipped laboratories. To obtain reliable results can use several serological techniques.

Currently, the isolation of the pathogen is not required, since the results can be obtained with simpler and more reliable tests for brucellosis (ELISA, RIF, etc.).

A widespread distribution was a specific Burne test. It is based on getting an allergic reaction on the skin with the introduction of brucellin into it (a special Brucella protein).

With the development of edema and hyperemia on the skin after 20-25 minutes after the introduction of this protein - the sample is considered positive. This reaction is observed in all patients with brucellosis, even in those who had it several years ago.

Treatment of brucellosis in humans

Treatment of brucellosis in humans

Treatment of brucellosis is complex and depends on the form and symptoms of the human pathology. For the treatment using drugs:

  1. Antibiotics. Apply at once several antibacterial drugs that act on both intracellular and extracellular forms (Rifampicin, Ofloxacin, Doxycycline, etc.).
  2. Painkillers Also, when expressed pain using Novocain blockade.
  3. Detoxification drugs.
  4. Anti-inflammatory and immunostimulants.

At present, they refuse from the previously used anti-bronchial vaccine due to its properties to suppress immunity and enhance autoimmune reactions.

Prognosis and prevention

The prognosis is determined by the form of brucellosis and the state of the internal organs at the time of treatment. In most cases, the prognosis for life is favorable, but the patient may be disturbed for a long time by the residual symptoms of the disease.

An important role is assigned to preventive measures. Conduct explanatory work on measures of personal hygiene when working with animals and the inadmissibility of the use of thermally unprocessed products in disadvantaged areas. Persons whose profession is related to animals are systematically examined for the presence of brucellosis. As ancillary measures are carried out vaccinations, both employees and animals.

Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection that is transmitted through contact with a sick animal. It can occur in various forms and causes severe disorders of the nervous, musculoskeletal, sexual and other systems.

Preventive measures and early diagnosis will help avoid the disease or cure it in the initial stages.


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