CSU ext

Brucellosis -
is a contagious disease of domestic animals and people and is caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. Cattle are most often affected by B. abortus , sheep and goats by B. melitensis  and B. ovis , pigs by B. suis , and dogs rarely by B. canis. Brucellosis should be considered in any animal that aborts.  Brucellosis must be reported to the State Veterinarian and local health authority.

Transmission:  Brucellosis is transmitted to humans through skin abrasions, placental tissue, and vaginal discharges while handling infected animals, and by ingesting unpasteurized milk or cheeses.
In sheep the disease is transmitted by infected rams.


Handle aborted fetus wiht gloves
Handle aborted fetus with gloves

What are the signs in animals?
Sheep and Goats:
Ewe/Doe – venereal disease, infertility, (B. melitensis - 3rd trimester abortions, weak lambs)
Ram/Buck – testicular infections (orchitis, epididymitis), and infertility
Cattle: abortions, premature calving and infertility in cows and bulls.
Sow - abortions, still births
Boar- testicular infections (orchitis)                       
Dogs: late abortions, infertility

epididymitis in a ram
Swelling of the tail of the epididymis is common sign of B. ovis in rams

What are the symptoms in humans?
 Brucellosis can cause a range of symptoms that are similar to the "flu" and may include fluctuating fever (Undulant Fever), sweats, headaches, back pains, and physical weakness. Severe infections of the central nervous systems or heart valves may occur. Brucellosis can also cause long-lasting or chronic symptoms that include recurrent fevers, joint pain, fatigue, and heart failure.

More information at Merck Vet Manual: