Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by infection with the bacterium Brucella. This disease affects all organs and is often caused by contact with an infected animal, non-pasteurized milk, or other infected material. Brucella infections may be contagious, but they can also be accidental. This illness is present worldwide and can affect both children and adults. Treatment for brucellosis can take months, but the infection can be treated with antibiotics.
ELISA tests can detect the presence of human IgG antibodies against Brucella in blood or serum samples. However, the test has limited use as a diagnostic tool, and new specimens must be collected 14 to 21 days after contact with the infected person. ELISA assays are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). ELISA tests use an antigen from Brucella abortus strain W99. Cross-reactivity between ELISA assays and other Brucella species exists, so they are not suitable for distinguishing different infections at a species level.
ELISA is the most widely used diagnostic assay for brucellosis. It provides good specificity and sensitivity. Brucella-specific IgM antibodies are produced in the first week of infection, and reach their maximum two months after infection. By contrast, a high-quality anti-Brucella-IgG test correlates more closely with the clinical course, preventing erroneous diagnosis. When finishing, there always need an ELISA washer to clean the residues on the plate.
Among the patients studied, 94 patients tested positive for Brucella-specific antibodies. Of these, 18 patients were asymptomatic and four of them had positive serology results. Six of these patients also had a history of brucellosis. In addition to identifying brucellosis, this study also identified the presence of antibodies to other bacteria. The researchers analyzed patients' medical files to assess whether they had previous exposure to Brucella.
The disease is most common in Saudi Arabia and endemic in many countries. In the 1990s, it was most common in the Middle East, although prevalence has dropped since then. In Saudi Arabia, a large number of patients with the disease have been treated in an ID clinic. Their most common presenting complaints were fever and musculoskeletal pain. Serology revealed varying patterns of positivity between IgG and IgM antibodies. A blood culture and RSAT tests were performed for confirmation.
There are four medically relevant species of Brucella. In humans, it is caused by contact with infected animals and unpasteurized milk. The bacteria usually enter the body through skin lesions or the subserosa or subcutis. Infected animals can cause infections, and the disease can be fatal. The best treatment for brucellosis is prevention. If you're infected with Brucella, it's important to seek medical attention immediately.