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What is brucella?

What is brucella?Brucella is a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, dogs. Pathogenic bacteria can enter the body as a result of direct contact with the meat, milk, urine or feces of an infected animal. ​

For this reason, farmers, veterinarians and slaughterhouse staff working with animals or raw meat are particularly at risk. To reduce the risk of brucellosis, it is necessary to avoid consuming raw meat and unpasteurized dairy products. It is also important to wear protective clothing or gloves when working with animals or their meat.

How is brucella transmitted?
Brucella disease is transmitted to humans as a result of contact with an infected animal or animal product. Transmission of the disease from person to person is a very rare condition. But it can be passed from nursing mothers to their babies through breast milk. Among the ways of Decontamination of brucella are the following;

• Through foods belonging to the sick animal, such as unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat
• As a result of contact with the flesh of a sick animal from open wounds such as cuts, scratches on the skin,
* By inhalation from contaminated air contaminated with Brucella bacteria
• With contact of infected animal fluids to the eye
• Person-to-person through sexual contact (rarely)
There are 4 groups of bacterial species that most often cause brucella disease in humans:
• B. abortion. It is transmitted from cattle.
* Brucella melitensis. It is found in sheep and goats.
• B. Suis. This strain, found in wild pigs, is the most active type of bacteria in brucella infections.
• B. canis. Infections of this type of bacteria spread from dogs.
Is brucella transmitted from household dogs?
Although very rarely from pet dogs, B. brucella can be transmitted through canis. But the disease transmitted in this way is usually mild. From most dogs infected with brucella, the disease does not spread to others. But the risk increases if there is direct contact with the dog's blood or other fluids. Individuals with a weakened immune system have a higher risk of transmitting diseases from dogs.

What are the risk factors for brucella?
Brucella is more common in men than in women. Individuals who are in the following risk groups are more likely to contract brucella:
* Those who eat or drink unpasteurized milk and dairy products from cows, goats or other animals infected with bacteria
* Those who consume cheeses that are also called "village cheeses" that have not been pasteurized
* Those who go to areas where Brucella is widespread
* Employees at a meat processing plant or slaughterhouse
* Those who work on the farm
* Microbiologists
What are the symptoms of brucella?
About 90% of individuals infected with brucella do not have any symptoms or have very mild symptoms. In this group of patients, the diagnosis can only be made by looking at the antibodies formed against the bacterium in the blood upon suspicion. In the other 10% of cases, various symptoms are observed. The general symptoms of brucellosis are vague and usually appear within 5-30 days after the bacterium is introduced into the body. Among the general symptoms that can be observed are the following Decays:

• Fire. It is the most common symptom and usually tends to appear in the afternoon.
* Back pain
* Muscle aches November
* Pain and tingling all over the body
•  Appetite
* Weight loss
• Headache
* Night sweats
• Fatigue
• Bellyache

Symptoms of brucella may disappear completely from time to time. Patients may not have any complaints for weeks or months. In some individuals, it becomes chronic and symptoms persist for years even after treatment. In chronic brucellosis, more serious ailments such as arthritis (joint inflammation), spondylitis (spinal joint inflammation), endocarditis (the formation of inflammation in the heart) can be added to the table.
The severity of the symptoms is linked to the bacterial strain that caused the infection. B. abortion usually causes mild or moderate symptoms, but is more likely to become chronic. B. symptoms of canis, B. it is similar to an abortion infection, but usually vomiting and diarrhea also accompany the disease picture. B.suis can cause areas of infection in the form of abscesses in different organs. B.melitensis can occur with sudden and severe symptoms that can cause disability.

How is Brucella disease diagnosed?
Diagnosis of brucellosis is quite difficult. Because it mostly proceeds with mild and vague symptoms or shows different symptoms depending on the type of causative bacteria. In addition, there are many different diseases that cause the same nonspecific signs of inflammation, and they must be excluded in the diagnosis October. For diagnosis, first of all, the patient's medical history, complaints and history of illness are questioned. A physical examination is then performed. Physical examination;
* Growth in the liver and spleen,
* Swollen lymph nodes,
• Unexplained fever,
* Swelling and tenderness in the joints,
* Signs such as a rash on the skin can be detected.
Then various tests are performed to show the infection and determine the type of causative bacteria. The correct identification of bacteria helps to make a treatment plan and identify the source of infection. Tests used in diagnosis:
* Blood culture
* Urine culture
• Bone marrow culture
* Cerebrospinal fluid examination
* Antibody test in the blood. In the blood serum, specific antibodies synthesized by the body against the bacterium that caused the infection can be detected.
How is brucella treatment done?
The treatment of brucella disease is usually done with antibiotics. The drugs prescribed for treatment must be used for at least 6 weeks. Brucella is a disease that is resistant to treatment and there is a possibility of recurrence. To reduce the risk of recurrence, continuous use of antibiotics is necessary for several weeks. The recurrence rate following treatment is approximately 5-15% and is usually seen within the first six months after treatment. In some patients, treatment can take weeks or even months. The rate of complete recovery is higher in patients whose treatment was started immediately, within a month from the onset of symptoms.

What are the complications of brucellosis?
Brucellosis can affect almost any part of the body, including the reproductive system, liver, heart and central nervous system. Chronic brucellosis can cause various complications in a single organ or throughout the body. Possible complications are:
* Infections of the central nervous system: These include potentially life-threatening diseases such as meningitis (Inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) and encephalitis (Inflammation of the brain tissue).
* Endocarditis: It is an infection of the membrane lining the internal cavities of the heart. Endocarditis is one of the most serious complications that can be observed in brucella. Untreated endocarditis can damage the heart valves and cause life-threatening.
•  Arthritis
* Inflammation in the testicles
* Liver abscess
* Spleen infection
• If seen during pregnancy, it causes low birth weight in babies.
It has not been seen that brucellosis directly leads to death. But there may be death due to complications. Most of the deaths associated with brucellosis are caused by endocarditis.

What are the ways to protect against brucella?
Since brucella is a disease that is difficult to treat and has serious complications, it would be useful to take some measures to prevent the disease. Brucellosis can be prevented by the following steps:
* Consumption of unpasteurized milk and dairy products should be avoided.
* Meat should not be consumed without being thoroughly cooked.
* Livestock industry employees should wear rubber gloves and protective clothing if necessary.
* Pets should be vaccinated.
Those who have contact with an animal infected with Brucella should definitely undergo a doctor's examination, even if there are no symptoms. These individuals need to be followed up for at least six months after contact. There is no effective vaccine to prevent brucellosis in humans yet.

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