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Brucellosis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective



Differentiating Brucellosis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Principles of diagnosis

History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


CT Scan


Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy

Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Brucella On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Brucella

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Brucella

CDC on Brucella

Brucella in the news

Blogs on Brucella

Directions to Hospitals Treating Brucellosis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Brucella


Scientific classification
Kingdom: Bacteria
Phylum: Proteobacteria
Class: Alpha Proteobacteria
Order: Rhizobiales
Family: Brucellaceae
Genus: Brucella

B. abortus
B. canis
B. melitensis
B. neotomae
B. ovis
B. suis

This page is about microbiologic aspects of the organism(s).  For clinical aspects of the disease, see brucellosis.

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Danitza Lukac, Vishal Devarkonda, M.B.B.S[2]


Human brucellosis is caused by four Brucellae species: B. abortus, B. canis, B. melitensis, and B. suis.[1]


Brucella species

Brucella species have been found primarily in mammals. [3] Brucellla species, with their host and degree of virulence is described below:[4]

Species Host Human Virulence
B. melitensis Goats, sheep, cattle, buffaloes, dogs and camels ++++
B. abortus Cattle, buffaloes, bison, dogs, elk, and horses ++/+++
B. canis Dogs +
B. suis Pigs and sheep +
B. ovis Sheep -

Tests to differentiate brucella species

Following tests may be used to differentiate between the different species of brucella.[5]

Test B. melitensis B. abortus B. suis B. ovis B. canis
Need to CO2 - + - + -
Production of H2S - + + - -
Growth on basic fushin 0.002% + + - + -
Growth on thionin 0.004% - - + + +
Growth on thionin 0.002% + - + + +
Destroy with Tb phage - + - - -


  1. "WHO" (PDF).
  2. Ryan KJ, Ray CG (editors) (2004). Sherris Medical Microbiology (4th ed. ed.). McGraw Hill. ISBN 0-8385-8529-9.
  3. Pappas G, Akritidis N, Bosilkovski M, Tsianos E (2005). "Brucellosis". N Engl J Med. 352 (22): 2325–36. doi:10.1056/NEJMra050570. PMID 15930423.
  4. "WHO" (PDF).
  5. "WHO" (PDF).