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1.  Human brucellosis among pyrexia of unknown origin cases and occupationally exposed individuals in Goa Region, India 
Emerging Health Threats Journal  2014;7:10.3402/ehtj.v7.23846.
Background
Brucellosis is a widespread zoonotic infection. This disease is endemic in many parts of Asia, including India. Brucellosis is a major cause of pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO). Persons exposed to infected animals or contaminated animal products are at high risk. Seropositivity among animal handlers, veterinarians and dairy workers has been documented in India. Thus, the present study was aimed to determine prevalence of brucellosis among PUO cases and occupationally exposed individuals.
Methods
In this study, serum samples (n=282) from cases of pyrexia of unknown origin (PUO) (n=243), and occupationally exposed individuals (n=39) were collected and tested for brucellosis by Rose Bengal plate test (RBPT), serum agglutination test (SAT), indirect ELISA, IgG and IgM ELISA. Blood culture for isolation of Brucella was performed for 10 serologically positive patients using BACTEC 9050 automated blood culture system. Biochemical tests and PCR techniques were used for confirmation of the isolates.
Results
Of the samples tested, 4.25%, 3.54%, 6.02% and 4.96% samples were positive by RBPT, SAT, indirect ELISA and IgG ELISA, respectively. None of the sample was positive for IgM ELISA. Of the 10 blood samples cultured bacteriologically, one Brucella isolate was recovered. The isolate was confirmed as Brucella abortus. Amplification of the bcsp31 and IS711 genes was also observed.
Conclusion
Seropositivity for brucellosis was observed among PUO cases, animal handlers and dairy workers in Goa, India. The serological tests showed variable results. One Brucella isolate was obtained by performing blood culture. Confirmation of the case was done rapidly using molecular tools. General awareness about clinical symptoms should be increased which will improve proper diagnosis within short time frame.
doi:10.3402/ehtj.v7.23846
PMCID: PMC3999952  PMID: 24762925
brucellosis; human; India; serology; ELISA; culture; PCR
2.  A Protein-Conjugate Approach to Develop a Monoclonal Antibody-Based Antigen Detection Test for the Diagnosis of Human Brucellosis 
Human brucellosis is most commonly diagnosed by serology based on agglutination of fixed Brucella abortus as antigen. Nucleic acid amplification techniques have not proven capable of reproducibly and sensitively demonstrating the presence of Brucella DNA in clinical specimens. We sought to optimize a monoclonal antibody-based assay to detect Brucella melitensis lipopolysaccharide in blood by conjugating B. melitensis LPS to keyhole limpet hemocyanin, an immunogenic protein carrier to maximize IgG affinity of monoclonal antibodies. A panel of specific of monoclonal antibodies was obtained that recognized both B. melitensis and B. abortus lipopolysaccharide epitopes. An antigen capture assay was developed that detected B. melitensis in the blood of experimentally infected mice and, in a pilot study, in naturally infected Peruvian subjects. As a proof of principle, a majority (7/10) of the patients with positive blood cultures had B. melitensis lipopolysaccharide detected in the initial blood specimen obtained. One of 10 patients with relapsed brucellosis and negative blood culture had a positive serum antigen test. No seronegative/blood culture negative patients had a positive serum antigen test. Analysis of the pair of monoclonal antibodies (2D1, 2E8) used in the capture ELISA for potential cross-reactivity in the detection of lipopolysaccharides of E. coli O157:H7 and Yersinia enterocolitica O9 showed specificity for Brucella lipopolysaccharide. This new approach to develop antigen-detection monoclonal antibodies against a T cell-independent polysaccharide antigen based on immunogenic protein conjugation may lead to the production of improved rapid point-of-care-deployable assays for the diagnosis of brucellosis and other infectious diseases.
Author Summary
Brucellosis is a OneHealth disease reflecting the risk for human infection by interaction with and relation to affected animal populations. The disease is often difficult to diagnose because of lack of precise or accessible diagnostic reagents, and because culture is complex, hazardous and relatively insensitive. Brucellosis disproportionately affects the poor and dispossessed with human and animal burdens of disease in the Middle East, North Africa, Mongolia and other regions that are simply unknown. The diagnosis of brucellosis most often rests on serological tests—antibody detection—based on agglutination of fixed Brucella abortus. We have developed the basis for developing a new test based on the detection of the B. melitensis lipopolysaccharide, which provides rapid and definitive identification of the presence of the organism in clinically obtainable body fluids. A new approach—protein conjugation to the lipopolysaccharide antigen—was taken to enhance the affinity of the monoclonal antibodies that were generated for the test. These reagents were tested in a mouse model of B. melitensis and in humans from the brucellosis-endemic region of Peru, and provided the data for the basis of further clinical development and clinical trials for the rapid, point-of-care diagnosis of brucellosis that will also provide new tools for assessing the global burden of disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002926
PMCID: PMC4046965  PMID: 24901521
3.  Evaluation of ELISA in the diagnosis of acute and chronic brucellosis in human beings. 
The Journal of Hygiene  1986;97(3):457-469.
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to determine the levels of brucella-specific IgG, IgM and IgA in 173 patients with acute brucellosis, 22 patients with chronic brucellosis and in 281 controls consisting of 98 patients with other infectious etiologies, 20 patients with non-infectious diseases and 163 normal healthy adults. The ELISA results were compared with culture findings, the results of slide agglutination tests with Brucella melitensis (M), B. abortus (A) and Ross Bengal (RB) antigens, and of tube and microagglutination tests. Brucella cultures were positive in 53 and 5% of patients with acute and chronic brucellosis respectively. The slide agglutination tests with A, M, A plus M and RB antigens were positive in 42, 44, 51 and 98% of patients with acute brucellosis and in 23, 27, 27 and 64% of patients with chronic brucellosis. There was no significant difference in the results between the tube and microagglutination tests regardless of the type of antigen used. At a titre of greater than or equal to 80 or greater than or equal to 160 these tests were positive in 98% and 92% of patients with acute brucellosis and 60 and 40% of patients with chronic brucellosis. The brucella culture and agglutination tests were negative for all the controls. Brucella ELISA immunoglobulins (Ig) were detected in some individuals in the control groups but the majority of these had titres of less than or equal to 100 for IgG, IgM, and IgA. However, patients with brucellosis had significantly higher ELISA titres in all classes of Ig than controls but the sensitivity and specificity within each Ig class varied with the titre considered. At a titre of greater than or equal to 1600 the brucella IgG had a sensitivity and specificity of 98% for patients with acute or chronic brucellosis; this decreased with lower reciprocal titres. The brucella IgM titre of greater than or equal to 400 had a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 98% for patients with acute brucellosis. However, in patients with chronic brucellosis the brucella IgM was very low. The brucella IgA titre of greater than or equal to 200 showed a sensitivity of 98% and a specificity of 99% for patients with either acute or chronic brucellosis. This study indicates that brucella ELISA is a rapid, sensitive and specific assay, provides a profile of Ig classes in the diagnosis of acute and chronic brucellosis, is useful for mass screening and could be considered the method of choice for the serological diagnosis of brucellosis.
PMCID: PMC2082895  PMID: 3794323
4.  Antibody Reactivity to Omp31 from Brucella melitensis in Human and Animal Infections by Smooth and Rough Brucellae 
Group 3 of outer membrane proteins (OMPs) of Brucella includes Omp25 and Omp31, which share 34% identity. Omp25 is highly conserved in Brucella species, and Omp31 is present in all Brucella species, except Brucella abortus. Antibodies to Brucella melitensis Omp31 have been sought only in infected sheep, and Western blotting of sera from infected sheep did not reveal anti-Omp31 reactivity. We obtained recombinant purified Omp31 (B. melitensis) and tested its recognition by sera from humans and animals suffering from brucellosis by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Serum samples from 74 patients, 57 sheep, and 47 dogs were analyzed; brucellosis was confirmed by bacteriological isolation in all ovine and canine cases and 31 human cases of brucellosis. Thirty-five patients (47%) were positive for antibodies to Omp31, including seven cases of Brucella suis infection, two cases of B. abortus infection, and three cases of B. melitensis infection. Of 39 sheep naturally infected with B. melitensis (biovars 1 and 3), 23 (59%) were positive for antibodies to Omp31. Anti-Omp31 antibodies were also detected in 12 of 18 rams (67%) in which Brucella ovis was isolated from semen. Antibodies to Omp31 were also found in 41 (87%) of the 47 dogs, including 13 with recent infection. These results suggest that an indirect ELISA using recombinant purified Omp31 from B. melitensis would be of limited value for the diagnosis of human and animal brucellosis. Nevertheless, the potential usefulness of this antigen in combination with other recombinant proteins from Brucella should not be dismissed.
doi:10.1128/CDLI.11.1.111-114.2004
PMCID: PMC321362  PMID: 14715555
5.  The Rose Bengal Test in Human Brucellosis: A Neglected Test for the Diagnosis of a Neglected Disease 
Brucellosis is a highly contagious zoonosis affecting livestock and human beings. The human disease lacks pathognomonic symptoms and laboratory tests are essential for its diagnosis. However, most tests are difficult to implement in the areas and countries were brucellosis is endemic. Here, we compared the simple and cheap Rose Bengal Test (RBT) with serum agglutination, Coombs, competitive ELISA, Brucellacapt, lateral flow immunochromatography for IgM and IgG detection and immunoprecipitation with Brucella proteins. We tested 208 sera from patients with brucellosis proved by bacteriological isolation, 20 contacts with no brucellosis, and 1559 sera of persons with no recent contact or brucellosis symptoms. RBT was highly sensitive in acute and long evolution brucellosis cases and this related to its ability to detect IgM, IgG and IgA, to the absence of prozones, and to the agglutinating activity of blocking IgA at the pH of the test. RBT was also highly specific in the sera of persons with no contact with Brucella. No test in this study outperformed RBT, and none was fully satisfactory in distinguishing contacts from infected patients. When modified to test serum dilutions, a diagnostic titer >4 in RBT resulted in 87.4% sensitivity (infected patients) and 100% specificity (contacts). We discuss the limitations of serological tests in the diagnosis of human brucellosis, particularly in the more chronic forms, and conclude that simplicity and affordability of RBT make it close to the ideal test for small and understaffed hospitals and laboratories.
Author Summary
The Rose Bengal Test (RBT) for brucellosis serological diagnosis was adapted to test serum dilutions and its usefulness evaluated using sera of Brucella culture positive patients, persons with contact with Brucella but no symptoms, veterinarians accidentally injected with vaccine Rev 1 who had not developed the disease and normal persons. Using the standard protocol, RBT was not outperformed by more sophisticated and expensive tests (serum agglutination, Coombs, competitive ELISA, Brucellacapt, and lateral flow immunochromatography for IgM and IgG detection) in identifying Brucella infected patients. All tests failed to discriminate with total specificity the sera from contacts or Rev 1 injected individuals. However, none of these sera was positive in the modified RBT adapted to test serum dilutions at titers higher than 1>4. When there is suspicion of brucellosis, RBT is recommended as the first test and, depending upon the titer, a positive result does not need confirmation by other (usually more expensive, sophisticated and time consuming) tests.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000950
PMCID: PMC3079581  PMID: 21526218
6.  Detection of IgM Antibrucella Antibody in the Absence of IgGs: A Challenge for the Clinical Interpretation of Brucella Serology 
The use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of IgG and IgM antibodies antibrucella has become widespread in the diagnosis of human brucellosis. IgM anti-Brucella antibodies are indicative of acute infection. Between 2009–2013, 5307 patients were evaluated for serologic diagnosis at the Microbiology Laboratory of the Albacete General Hospital. A ELISA IgM-positive, IgG-negative anti-Brucella antibody serology pattern was detected in 17 of those patients. Epidemiology data, symptoms, laboratory data, treatment and outcome from these patients were reviewed. Sixteen patients presented with musculoskeletal pain, fatigue and/or fever and 1 was asymptomatic. Five patients received treatment with doxycycline combined with rifampin, gentamycin or streptomycin during 6–12 weeks, with no improvement. None of the 17 patients were finally diagnosed with brucellosis. Our results indicate that anti-Brucella IgM positive serology, per se, is not enough to diagnose acute brucellosis and other methods should be used for confirmation. Brucella serology data should be interpreted taking into account the patient's clinical history and epidemiological context.
Author Summary
Human brucellosis may present with a wide variety of symptoms and signs. Adequate laboratory diagnostic methods become necessary. The diagnostic method that proves infection caused by Brucella spp. is the isolation of the bacteria from body fluids or tissues, but the difficulty in obtaining positive bacterial cultures has led to the development of other diagnostic techniques. Rose Bengal test, Wright agglutination, Coombs antibrucella, immunocapture techniques, and serology to detect specific IgG and IgM antibodies usually by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), are the serological methods most often used for the diagnosis of brucellosis. The use of ELISA techniques has become widespread in recent years. The detection of specific IgM by using ELISA is considered indicative of acute or recent infection. However, IgM antibody detection in the absence of IgG may lead to an erroneous diagnosis of acute brucellosis. We described a series of patients in which serology detected IgM but not IgG antibrucella antibodies. In these patients the clinical picture and the outcome are not suggestive of active infection caused by Brucella spp. This finding supports the conclusion that Brucella serology data should be interpreted taking into account the patient's clinical history and epidemiological context.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003390
PMCID: PMC4256177  PMID: 25474572
7.  Characterization of a monoclonal antibody specific for Brucella smooth lipopolysaccharide and development of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to improve the serological diagnosis of brucellosis. 
The reactivity of monoclonal antibody (MAb) 12G12 was analyzed in regard to the main biovars of Brucella species and some members of the families Enterobacteriaceae and Vibrionaceae which present serological cross-reactions with the smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS) of Brucella species. This MAb was strictly directed against the common specific epitope of the Brucella S-LPS. It recognized all of the smooth Brucella strains and biovars except B. suis biovar 2. In order to improve the specificity of the serological diagnosis of brucellosis, a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA) was developed with the horseradish peroxidase-conjugated MAbs 12G12 and S-LPS of B. melitensis Rev1. The specificity of the cELISA was analyzed with 936 serum samples from healthy cattle. The assay was evaluated with sera from heifers (n = 18) experimentally infected with B. abortus 544. After infection, the performance of the cELISA was in agreement with those of the complement fixation test and the rose Bengal plate test. Finally, the specificity of the assay was also evaluated in regard to false-positive serological reactions by using sera from heifers experimentally infected with Yersinia enterocolitica 0:9 (n = 4) and with field sera presenting false-positive reactions (n = 74). The specificity of the cELISA was greater than the specificities of the complement fixation test and the rose Bengal plate test. Indeed, the new assay detected only 31 of the 101 false-positive serum samples detected by at least one serological test.
PMCID: PMC170338  PMID: 8705675
8.  Brucella bacteremia in a recipient of an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant: a case report 
Cases Journal  2009;2:91.
Background
Brucellosis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients living in areas that are endemic for the infection.
Case Presentation
A 20 years old Saudi male was diagnosed to have severe aplastic anemia at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre in Riyadh in April 2006. One hundred and twelve days following his successful allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant, he presented with pyrexia in addition to neutropenia and mild thrombocytopenia. Brucella serology was strongly positive and blood cultures grew Brucella melitensis. The bacteremic episode of brucellosis was successfully treated with streptomycin, doxycyclin and ciprofloxacin at the outpatient clinic. To our knowledge, this is the first case of a naturally occurring Brucella infection complicated by Brucella bacteremia in a recipient of hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Conclusion
Brucellosis may cause systemic infections, complicated bacteremias and serious morbidity in immunocompromised patients living in countries that are endemic for the infection. It should be considered as a possible cause of fever and pancytopenia in hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients living in these geographical locations. Nevertheless, the infection is curable provided the diagnosis is made early and an appropriate antimicrobial therapy is promptly initiated.
doi:10.1186/1757-1626-2-91
PMCID: PMC2637260  PMID: 19173733
9.  Medulloblastoma and Brucellosis - Molecular Evidence of Brucella sp in Association with Central Nervous System Cancer 
Journal of Cancer  2011;2:136-141.
Neurobrucellosis has been reported to cause lesions in a number of different locations in the central nervous system. Histologically or radiologically, these lesions were consistent with an infection. In response to parents who believed their child's brain tumor, histologically typical of medulloblastoma, was in reality neurobrucellosis, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue from the medulloblastoma was sectioned, DNA extracted, and tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Specific primer/probe sets, designed in our laboratory to target Brucella species, B. melitensis, B. abortus and B. suis, and designated OMP31, B-m, B-a and B-s, respectively, were used in TaqMan real-time PCR to amplify those gene targets in two separate blocks of the child's tumor. Sections from two blocks were positive only for Brucella species. Although the patient grew up in a European country known to harbor brucella in foods, such as unpasturized milk and cheese, the patient was seronegative for B. mellitensis, B. suis, and B. abortus. In an effort to test whether a relationship existed between the presence of brucella and medulloblastoma, 20 medulloblastomas were retrieved from the tissue repository of the AFIP. The above four primer/probe sets were again used to amplify brucella DNA. Five of 20 tumors (25%) contained Brucella species DNA by the OMP31 primer/probe set. None of the 20 medulloblastomas had specific sequences for B. mellitensis, B. suis, or B. abortus. Is chronic brucellosis similar to other infectious agents such as helicobacter that is associated with tumor formation?
PMCID: PMC3053536  PMID: 21475718
brucellosis; Brucella sp; medulloblastoma; glioblastoma; Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE); milk; dairy.
10.  Efficacy of Several Serological Tests and Antigens for Diagnosis of Bovine Brucellosis in the Presence of False-Positive Serological Results Due to Yersinia enterocolitica O:9 
Yersinia enterocolitica O:9 bears a smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS) of Brucella sp. O-chain A + C/Y epitopic structure and is a cause of false-positive serological reactions (FPSR) in standard tests for cattle brucellosis. Brucella S-LPS, cross-reacting S-LPSs representing several O-chain epitope combinations, Brucella core lipid A epitopes (rough LPS), Brucella abortus S-LPS-derived polysaccharide, native hapten polysaccharide, rough LPS group 3 outer membrane protein complexes, recombinant BP26, and cytosolic proteins were tested in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and precipitation tests to detect cattle brucellosis (sensitivity) and to differentiate it from FPSR (specificity). No single serological test and antigen combination showed 100% sensitivity and specificity simultaneously. Immunoprecipitation tests with native hapten polysaccharide, counterimmunoelectrophoresis with cytosolic proteins, and a chaotropic ELISA with Brucella S-LPS were 100% specific but less sensitive than the Rose Bengal test, complement fixation, and indirect ELISA with Brucella S-LPSs and native hapten or S-LPS-derived polysaccharides. A competitive ELISA with Brucella S-LPS and M84 C/Y-specific monoclonal antibody was not 100% specific and was less sensitive than other tests. ELISA with Brucella suis bv. 2 S-LPS (deficient in C epitopes), Escherichia hermannii S-LPSs [lacking the contiguous α-(1-2)-linked perosamine residues characteristic of Y. enterocolitica S-LPS], BP26 recombinant protein, and Brucella cytosolic fractions did not provide adequate sensitivity/specificity ratios. Although no serological test and antigen combination fully resolved the diagnosis of bovine brucellosis in the presence of FPSR, some are simple and practical alternatives to the brucellin skin test currently recommended for differential diagnosis.
doi:10.1128/CDLI.12.1.141-151.2005
PMCID: PMC540215  PMID: 15642999
11.  Evaluation of the Sprague-Dawley rat as a model for vertical transmission of Brucella abortus 
Abstract
Vertical transmission of Brucella abortus in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats was verified with microbiologic, serologic, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. The 38 initially Brucella-free SD rats, weighing 200 to 250 g, were injected subcutaneously with 50 μL of a suspension containing 1 × 109 colony-forming units (cfu) of B. abortus biotype 1 Korean isolate. The rats were allowed to mate with uninfected SD rats. The isolate was detected by culture and by AMOS (abortus, melitensis, ovis, suis) PCR in testis tissue of infected male rats and splenic tissue of infected female rats. By 7 d after inoculation, the results of both the rose bengal test (RBT) and the plate agglutination test (PAT) were positive for antibody against B. abortus; the reciprocal antibody titre ranged from 200 to 400 in the 1-mo-old offspring and 800 in their dams. The infected rats directly transmitted Brucella to their breeding partners and offspring. Fetuses of infected dams were found to be infected at 20 d of gestation. These data are discussed in relation to a model for epizootic and zoonotic cases possibly involving wild animals. Additional rigorous experiments are warranted to explore the value of this model in developing measures to prevent congenital brucellosis.
PMCID: PMC1250244  PMID: 16479730
12.  Development of a Selective Culture Medium for Primary Isolation of the Main Brucella Species▿ 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2011;49(4):1458-1463.
Bacteriological diagnosis of brucellosis is performed by culturing animal samples directly on both Farrell medium (FM) and modified Thayer-Martin medium (mTM). However, despite inhibiting most contaminating microorganisms, FM also inhibits the growth of Brucella ovis and some B. melitensis and B. abortus strains. In contrast, mTM is adequate for growth of all Brucella species but only partially inhibitory for contaminants. Moreover, the performance of both culture media for isolating B. suis has never been established properly. We first determined the performance of both media for B. suis isolation, proving that FM significantly inhibits B. suis growth. We also determined the susceptibility of B. suis to the antibiotics contained in both selective media, proving that nalidixic acid and bacitracin are highly inhibitory, thus explaining the reduced performance of FM for B. suis isolation. Based on these results, a new selective medium (CITA) containing vancomycin, colistin, nystatin, nitrofurantoin, and amphotericin B was tested for isolation of the main Brucella species, including B. suis. CITA's performance was evaluated using reference contaminant strains but also field samples taken from brucella-infected animals or animals suspected of infection. CITA inhibited most contaminant microorganisms but allowed the growth of all Brucella species, to levels similar to those for both the control medium without antibiotics and mTM. Moreover, CITA medium was more sensitive than both mTM and FM for isolating all Brucella species from field samples. Altogether, these results demonstrate the adequate performance of CITA medium for the primary isolation of the main Brucella species, including B. suis.
doi:10.1128/JCM.02301-10
PMCID: PMC3122841  PMID: 21270216
13.  Development and Comparative Evaluation of a Plate Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Based on Recombinant Outer Membrane Antigens Omp28 and Omp31 for Diagnosis of Human Brucellosis 
Brucellosis is an important zoonotic infectious disease of humans and livestock with worldwide distribution and is caused by bacteria of the genus Brucella. The diagnosis of brucellosis always requires laboratory confirmation by either isolation of pathogens or detection of specific antibodies. The conventional serological tests available for the diagnosis of brucellosis are less specific and show cross-reactivity with other closely related organisms. These tests also necessitate the handling of Brucella species for antigen preparation. Therefore, there is a need to develop reliable, rapid, and user-friendly systems for disease diagnosis and alternatives to vaccine approaches. Keeping in mind the importance of brucellosis as an emerging infection and the prevalence in India, we carried out the present study to compare the recombinant antigens with the native antigens (cell envelope and sonicated antigen) of Brucella for diagnosis of human brucellosis by an indirect plate enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Recombinant outer membrane protein 28 (rOmp28) and rOmp31 antigens were cloned, expressed, and purified in the bacterial expression system, and the purified proteins were used as antigens. Indirect plate ELISAs were then performed and standardized for comparison of the reactivities of recombinant and native antigens against the 433 clinical samples submitted for brucellosis testing, 15 culture-positive samples, and 20 healthy donor samples. The samples were separated into four groups based on their positivity to rose bengal plate agglutination tests (RBPTs), standard tube agglutination tests (STATs), and 2-mercaptoethanol (2ME) tests. The sensitivities and specificities of all the antigens were calculated, and the rOmp28 antigen was found to be more suitable for the clinical diagnosis of brucellosis than the rOmp31 antigen and native antigens. The rOmp28-based ELISA showed a very high degree of agreement with the conventional agglutination tests and promising results for further use in clinical screening and serodiagnosis of human brucellosis.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00111-13
PMCID: PMC3754501  PMID: 23761658
14.  An unusual presentation of brucellosis, involving multiple organ systems, with low agglutinating titers: a case report 
Background
Brucellosis is a multi-system disease that may present with a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations. While hepatic involvement in brucellosis is not rare, it may rarely involve the kidney or display with cardiac manifestations. Central nervous system involvement in brucellosis sometimes can cause demyelinating syndromes. Here we present a case of brucella hepatitis, myocarditis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and renal failure.
Case presentation
A 26-year-old man presented with fever, ataxia, and dysarthria. He was a shepherd and gave a history of low grade fever, chilly sensation, cold sweating, loss of appetite, arthralgia and 10 Kg weight loss during the previous 3 months. He had a body temperature of 39°C at the time of admission. On laboratory tests he had elevated level of liver enzymes, blood urea nitrogen, Creatinine, Creatine phosphokinase (MB), and moderate proteinuria. He also had abnormal echocardiography and brain MRI. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for IgG and IgM was negative. Standard tube agglutination test (STAT) and 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME) titers were 1:80 and 1:40 respectively. Finally he was diagnosed with brucellosis by positive blood culture and the polymerase chain reaction for Brucella mellitensis.
Conclusion
In endemic areas clinicians should consider brucellosis in any unusual presentation involving multiple organ systems, even if serology is inconclusive. In endemic areas low STAT and 2-ME titers should be considered as an indication of brucellosis and in these cases additional testing is recommended to rule out brucellosis.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-1-53
PMCID: PMC2072951  PMID: 17659088
15.  Clinical Manifestations, Laboratory Findings, and Therapeutic Regimen in Hospitalized Children with Brucellosis in an Iranian Referral Children Medical Centre 
Brucellosis is considered a known widespread zoonotic disease and is endemic in Mediterranean region, like Iran. This study reviewed the clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, and therapeutic regimen in childhood brucellosis in Iran. In this retrospective study, we reviewed hospital-records of 34 consecutive children with a confirmed diagnosis of brucellosis among a total number of 10,864 patients admitted to Children's Medical Center, Tehran, Iran, between 2002 and 2010. Among the patients diagnosed with brucellosis, 22 (65%) were admitted during spring and summer. Clinical findings of these patients at admission were arthritis, splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, lymphadenopathy, maculopapular skin rashes, and fever. Anaemia (53%) and leukopenia (33%) were the most common findings in the children. Only one patient had presented with leukocytosis. Four children (12%) were thrombocytopenic, and none of patients had pancytopenia. Blood cultures were positive in 5 patients (23%). Only one patient underwent bone-marrow aspiration and had positive culture for Brucella spp. Positive titres were found in 33 cases (97%) in Wright test, 23 cases (96%) in Coombs test, and 16 patients (72.7%) in 2ME (2-Mercaptoethanol) test. In one case, Wright and Coombs test titres were below 1:80 while Brucella spp. were isolated from blood at the same time. It is concluded, prolonged fever with joint involvement and organomegaly may increase possibility of infection with Brucella spp. Appropriate treatment regimen by more tolerable oral drugs, with a duration of at least 8 weeks, is recommended.
PMCID: PMC3702343  PMID: 23930340
Brucellosis; Child; Diagnosis; Treatment; Iran
16.  Serological and bacteriological study of swine brucellosis. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1997;35(1):295-297.
A serological and bacteriological study was performed with sera taken from 2,228 swine from six states in Venezuela. None of the animals were vaccinated against brucellosis, and the prevalence of the disease varied from 5 to 89% on farms located in these states. Our studies indicated that the animals could be categorized into four groups depending on the degree of reactivity in serological tests. Brucella suis biovar 1 was isolated from the lymph nodes, spleens, and semen samples of seropositive animals and identified by oxidative metabolic techniques. B. suis could not be isolated from tissues of seronegative swine even from farms with cases of the disease (detected by serology). Results suggest that, although the immunodiffusion assay using Brucella melitensis B115 polysaccharide B or B. abortus 1119-3 O-polysaccharide could be useful in the detection of active infections, it is perhaps not as sensitive as some of the other standard serological tests used in this study for the detection of swine brucellosis.
PMCID: PMC229562  PMID: 8968931
17.  Comparison of diagnostic tests for the detection of Brucella spp. in camel sera 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:525.
Background
Brucellosis in livestock causes enormous losses for economies of developing countries and poses a severe health risk to consumers of dairy products. Little information is known especially on camel brucellosis and its impact on human health. For surveillance and control of the disease, sensitive and reliable detection methods are needed. Although serological tests are the mainstay of diagnosis in camel brucellosis, these tests have been directly transposed from cattle without adequate validation. To date, little information on application of real-time PCR for detection of Brucella in camel serum is available. Therefore, this study was performed to compare the diagnostic efficiency of different serological tests and real-time PCR in order to identify the most sensitive, rapid and simple combination of tests for detecting Brucella infection in camels.
Findings
A total of 895 serum samples collected from apparently healthy Sudanese camels was investigated. Sudan is a well documented endemic region for brucellosis with cases in humans, ruminants, and camels. Rose Bengal Test (RBT), Complement Fixation Test (CFT), Slow Agglutination Test (SAT), Competitive Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay (cELISA) and Fluorescence Polarization Assay (FPA) as well as real-time PCR were used. Our findings revealed that bcsp31 kDa real-time PCR detected Brucella DNA in 84.8% (759/895) of the examined samples, of which 15.5% (118/759) were serologically negative. Our results show no relevant difference in sensitivity between the different serological tests. FPA detected the highest number of positive cases (79.3%) followed by CFT (71.4%), RBT (70.7%), SAT (70.6%) and cELISA (68.8%). A combination of real-time PCR with one of the used serological tests identified brucellosis in more than 99% of the infected animals. 59.7% of the examined samples were positive in all serological tests and real-time PCR. A subpopulation of 6.8% of animals was positive in all serological tests but negative in real-time PCR assays. The high percentage of positive cases in this study does not necessarily reflect the seroprevalence of the disease in the country but might be caused by the fact that the camels were imported from brucellosis infected herds of Sudan, accidentally. Seroprevalence of brucellosis in camels should be examined in confirmatory studies to evaluate the importance of brucellosis in this animal species.
Conclusion
We suggest combining bcsp31 real-time PCR with either FPA, CFT, RBT or SAT to screen camels for brucellosis.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-525
PMCID: PMC3284514  PMID: 22145943
18.  Brucellosis: an overview. 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  1997;3(2):213-221.
Brucellosis remains a major zoonosis worldwide. Although many countries have eradicated Brucella abortus from cattle, in some areas Brucella melitensis has emerged as a cause of infection in this species as well as in sheep and goats. Despite vaccination campaigns with the Rev 1 strain, B. melitensis remains the principal cause of human brucellosis. Brucella suis is also emerging as an agent of infection in cattle, thus extending its opportunities to infect humans. The recent isolation of distinctive strains of Brucella from marine mammals has extended its ecologic range. Molecular genetic studies have demonstrated phylogenetic affiliation to Agrobacterium, Phyllobacterium, Ochrobactrum, and Rhizobium. Polymerase chain reaction and gene probe development may provide more effective typing methods. Pathogenicity is related to production of lipopolysaccharides containing a poly N-formyl perosamine O chain, CuZn superoxide dismutase, erythrlose phosphate dehydrogenase, stress-induced proteins related to intracellular survival, and adenine and guanine monophosphate inhibitors of phagocyte functions. Protective immunity is conferred by antibody to lipopolysaccharide and T-cell-mediated macrophage activation triggered by protein antigens. Diagnosis still centers on isolation of the organism and serologic test results, especially enzyme immunoassay, which is replacing other methods. Polymerase chain reaction is also under evaluation. Therapy is based on tetracyclines with or without rifampicin, aminoglycosides, or quinolones. No satisfactory vaccines against human brucellosis are available, although attenuated purE mutants appear promising.
PMCID: PMC2627605  PMID: 9204307
19.  Limitations of the BP26 Protein-Based Indirect Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Diagnosis of Brucellosis 
Brucellosis is a serious zoonosis that occurs worldwide, and its diagnosis is typically based on the detection of antibodies against Brucella lipopolysaccharide (LPS). However, the specificity of the LPS-based test is compromised by cross-reactivity with Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Yersinia enterocolitica O:9. Also, diagnosis based on the LPS test cannot differentiate between vaccinated and infected individuals. The detection of the 26-kDa cytosoluble protein (BP26) antibody is considered an alternative that circumvents these drawbacks because it is exclusively expressed by infectious Brucella. A BP26-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been tried for the diagnosis of Brucella-infected animals and humans, but a few results showed that BP26 couldn't react with all Brucella-positive sera. In order to explore whether different animals could produce antibodies against BP26 after being infected with various Brucella species, we infected sheep, goats, and beef cattle with common virulent reference Brucella species. All sera were collected from the experimental animals and tested using both LPS-based ELISAs and BP26-based ELISAs. The results showed that all Brucella-infected individuals could produce high levels of antibodies against LPS, but only B. melitensis 16M- and B. melitensis M28-infected sheep and B. melitensis 16M- and B. abortus 2308-infected goats could produce antibodies against BP26. Therefore, we concluded that the BP26-based indirect ELISA (i-ELISA) showed both Brucella species and host specificity, which obviously limits its reliability as a substitute for the traditional LPS-based ELISA for the detection of brucellosis.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00052-13
PMCID: PMC3889589  PMID: 23863503
20.  Diagnosis of Brucellosis in Livestock and Wildlife 
Croatian Medical Journal  2010;51(4):296-305.
Aim
To describe and discuss the merits of various direct and indirect methods applied in vitro (mainly on blood or milk) or in vivo (allergic test) for the diagnosis of brucellosis in animals.
Methods
The recent literature on brucellosis diagnostic tests was reviewed. These diagnostic tests are applied with different goals, such as national screening, confirmatory diagnosis, certification, and international trade. The validation of such diagnostic tests is still an issue, particularly in wildlife. The choice of the testing strategy depends on the prevailing brucellosis epidemiological situation and the goal of testing.
Results
Measuring the kinetics of antibody production after Brucella spp. infection is essential for analyzing serological results correctly and may help to predict abortion. Indirect ELISAs help to discriminate 1) between false positive serological reactions and true brucellosis and 2) between vaccination and infection. Biotyping of Brucella spp. provides valuable epidemiological information that allows tracing an infection back to the sources in instances where several biotypes of a given Brucella species are circulating. Polymerase chain reaction and new molecular methods are likely to be used as routine typing and fingerprinting methods in the coming years.
Conclusion
The diagnosis of brucellosis in livestock and wildlife is complex and serological results need to be carefully analyzed. The B. abortus S19 and B. melitensis Rev. 1 vaccines are the cornerstones of control programs in cattle and small ruminants, respectively. There is no vaccine available for pigs or for wildlife. In the absence of a human brucellosis vaccine, prevention of human brucellosis depends on the control of the disease in animals.
doi:10.3325/cmj.2010.51.296
PMCID: PMC2931434  PMID: 20718082
21.  Evaluation of serological tests for diagnosis of Brucella melitensis infection of goats. 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  1994;32(5):1159-1165.
Five serological assays were evaluated for the diagnosis of brucellosis in goats: the rose bengal test (RBT), complement fixation test (CFT), radial immunodiffusion (RID) with Brucella and Yersinia enterocolitica O:9 polysaccharides, counterimmunoelectrophoresis (CIEP) with cytosol, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with polyclonal and protein G conjugates and smooth lipopolysaccharide (S-LPS), native hapten polysaccharide (NH), or cytosol antigens. For optimal sensitivity, RBT had to be used with sera-antigen at a 3:1 dilution. In the RID test, Brucella melitensis biotype 1 NH could not be replaced by Brucella abortus biotype 1 or Y. enterocolitica 0:9 polysaccharides. In the ELISA, S-LPS and NH gave similar results and the protein G conjugate increased the specificity. With the sera from 55 B. melitensis culture-positive goats, the sensitivity was 100% for RBT, CFT (titer > or = 4), and ELISA with S-LPS or NH; 94% for RID; and 93% for CIEP. All tests were negative (100% specific) when testing the sera from 127 brucella-free goats. Larger discrepancies among the results of the serological tests were obtained with sera from goats of areas where brucellosis is endemic. When the sera of 20 young goats vaccinated subcutaneously (10(9) CFU of B. melitensis Rev 1) and bled 6 months later were examined, the specificities were as follows: NH ELISA, 60%; CFT and S-LPS ELISA, 75%; RBT, 80%; CIEP, 90%; and RID, 94%. With the sera from 10 young goats vaccinated conjunctivally (10(9) CFU of B. melitensis Rev 1) all tests were 100% specific 4 months after vaccination. The proportion of goats giving a positive reaction after vaccination decreased faster in RID than in other tests.
PMCID: PMC263630  PMID: 8051240
22.  Comparative Clinical Study of Different Multiplex Real Time PCR Strategies for the Simultaneous Differential Diagnosis between Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis and Focal Complications of Brucellosis 
Background
Both brucellosis and tuberculosis are chronic-debilitating systemic granulomatous diseases with a high incidence in many countries in Africa, Central and South America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. Certain focal complications of brucellosis and extrapulmonary tuberculosis are very difficult to differentiate clinically, biologically and radiologically. As the conventional microbiological methods for the diagnosis of the two diseases have many limitations, as well as being time-consuming, multiplex real time PCR (M RT-PCR) could be a promising and practical approach to hasten the differential diagnosis and improve prognosis.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We designed a SYBR Green single-tube multiplex real-time PCR protocol targeting bcsp31 and the IS711 sequence detecting all pathogenic species and biovars of Brucella genus, the IS6110 sequence detecting Mycobacterium genus, and the intergenic region senX3-regX3 specifically detecting Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. The diagnostic yield of the M RT-PCR with the three pairs of resultant amplicons was then analyzed in 91 clinical samples corresponding to 30 patients with focal complications of brucellosis, 24 patients with extrapulmonary tuberculosis, and 36 patients (Control Group) with different infectious, autoimmune or neoplastic diseases. Thirty-five patients had vertebral osteomyelitis, 21 subacute or chronic meningitis or meningoencephalitis, 13 liver or splenic abscess, eight orchiepididymitis, seven subacute or chronic arthritis, and the remaining seven samples were from different locations. Of the three pairs of amplicons (senX3-regX3+ bcsp3, senX3-regX3+ IS711 and IS6110+ IS711) only senX3-regX3+ IS711 was 100% specific for both the Brucella genus and M. tuberculosis complex. For all the clinical samples studied, the overall sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the M RT-PCR assay were 89.1%, 100%, 85.7% and 100%, respectively, with an accuracy of 93.4%, (95% CI, 88.3—96.5%).
Conclusions/Significance
In this study, a M RT-PCR strategy with species-specific primers based on senX3-regX3+IS711 sequences proved to be a sensitive and specific test, useful for the highly efficient detection of M. tuberculosis and Brucella spp in very different clinical samples. It thus represents an advance in the differential diagnosis between some forms of extrapulmonary tuberculosis and focal complications of brucellosis.
Author Summary
Both brucellosis and tuberculosis are systemic infections which may involve any organ. When they affect specific locations, extrapulmonary tuberculosis and brucellosis cause symptoms that are very difficult to differentiate clinically. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex and Brucella spp are slow-growing microorganisms whose culture and isolation require several days to weeks. Methods based on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) have proven more sensitive than conventional culture, for both extrapulmonary tuberculosis and focal complications of brucellosis. Multiplex real time PCR is a variant of PCR in which two or more target sequences can be simultaneously amplified in a single tube. We developed and evaluated the results of several multiplex real-time PCR strategies for the rapid differential diagnosis between extrapulmonary tuberculosis and focal complications of brucellosis. Multiplex real-time PCR targeting of SenX3-RegX3+IS711 sequences showed a sensitivity of 89.1% and a specificity of 100% when applied to 91 clinical specimens. These findings provide solid evidence suggesting that multiplex real-time PCR could be a useful tool to reduce the time required for the differential diagnosis between extrapulmonary tuberculosis and complicated brucellosis, thereby improving prognosis.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002593
PMCID: PMC3861180  PMID: 24349599
23.  Diagnostic Usefulness of Antibodies against Ribosome Recycling Factor from Brucella melitensis in Human or Canine Brucellosis 
The diagnostic usefulness of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a purified recombinant ribosome recycling factor from Brucella melitensis (CP24 antigen) was tested in human and canine infections caused by smooth and rough Brucella species, respectively. Anti-CP24 antibodies were detected in 9 (43%) of 21 consecutive cases of canine brucellosis and in 8 (53%) of 15 dogs followed for 60 days after the diagnosis of acute brucellosis. Among eight patients with acute brucellosis, anti-CP24 antibodies were detected in four in the 10 weeks following diagnosis, but the remaining four were negative during the whole follow-up (22 weeks). The frequency of anti-CP24 antibodies was also low among 24 patients with subacute brucellosis and 23 patients with chronic illness (29 and 26%, respectively). While all patients positive for anti-CP24 antibodies were also positive for antibodies to total cytoplasmic proteins of Brucella (CP), five were negative for antibodies to another cytoplasmic protein, the Brucella lumazine synthase (BLS). When a larger sample of 35 human sera negative for anti-BLS antibodies was assayed, 85.7% were positive for anti-CP24 antibodies, suggesting that the combined measurement of both reactivities could yield a higher sensitivity than any test alone. To test this hypothesis, an ELISA combining both antigens was designed. The percentage of positive results among chronic cases was higher for this assay than for the individual measurement of anti-CP24 or anti-BLS antibodies (83 versus 26 and 65%, respectively) and was closer to the value obtained for anti-CP antibodies (91%). The frequency of anti-CP24 antibodies is low in both canine and human brucellosis. In the latter case, however, an ELISA combining CP24 and BLS is more sensitive than assays measuring anti-CP24 or anti-BLS antibodies separately and almost as sensitive as the ELISA using CP.
doi:10.1128/CDLI.9.2.366-369.2002
PMCID: PMC119955  PMID: 11874879
24.  Spatial distribution and risk factors of Brucellosis in Iberian wild ungulates 
Background
The role of wildlife as a brucellosis reservoir for humans and domestic livestock remains to be properly established. The aim of this work was to determine the aetiology, apparent prevalence, spatial distribution and risk factors for brucellosis transmission in several Iberian wild ungulates.
Methods
A multi-species indirect immunosorbent assay (iELISA) using Brucella S-LPS antigen was developed. In several regions having brucellosis in livestock, individual serum samples were taken between 1999 and 2009 from 2,579 wild bovids, 6,448 wild cervids and4,454 Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), and tested to assess brucellosis apparent prevalence. Strains isolated from wild boar were characterized to identify the presence of markers shared with the strains isolated from domestic pigs.
Results
Mean apparent prevalence below 0.5% was identified in chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica), Iberian wild goat (Capra pyrenaica), and red deer (Cervus elaphus). Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), fallow deer (Dama dama), mouflon (Ovis aries) and Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) tested were seronegative. Only one red deer and one Iberian wild goat resulted positive in culture, isolating B. abortus biovar 1 and B. melitensis biovar 1, respectively. Apparent prevalence in wild boar ranged from 25% to 46% in the different regions studied, with the highest figures detected in South-Central Spain. The probability of wild boar being positive in the iELISA was also affected by age, age-by-sex interaction, sampling month, and the density of outdoor domestic pigs. A total of 104 bacterial isolates were obtained from wild boar, being all identified as B. suis biovar 2. DNA polymorphisms were similar to those found in domestic pigs.
Conclusions
In conclusion, brucellosis in wild boar is widespread in the Iberian Peninsula, thus representing an important threat for domestic pigs. By contrast, wild ruminants were not identified as a significant brucellosis reservoir for livestock.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-46
PMCID: PMC2841660  PMID: 20205703
25.  Collapsed L4 Vertebral Body Caused by Brucellosis 
Brucellosis is caused by gram-negative, aerobic, non-motile, facultative, intracellular coccobacilli belonging to the genus Brucella. A 50-year-old man working as an employee was admitted to neurosurgery clinic with severe low back, radicular right leg pain and hypoesthesia in right L4-5 dermatomes for 2 months. Brucella tube agglutination (Wright) test was positive in serum sample of the patient with a titer of 1/640. Brucella melitensis was isolated from blood culture. X-ray and MRI of the lomber spine showed massive collapse of L4 vertebral body. Neural tissue was decompressed and then posterior L3-5 short segment transpedicular screw fixation and stabilization was performed. Brucella melitensis was isolated from microbiologic culture of pathologic specimen. Antibiotic therapy was given as doxycycline 200 mg/day and rifampicin 600 mg/day for 6 months. Brucellosis is a systemic zoonotic infection and still an important public health problem in many geographical parts of the world. Vertebral body collapse caused by brucellosis occurs very rarely but represents a neurosurgical emergency because of its potential for causing rapidly progressive spinal cord compression and permanent paralysis. Neurosurgeons, emergency department personnel as well as infectious disease specialists should always keep a high index of suspicion and include brucellosis in the differential diagnosis of vertebral body collapse.
doi:10.3340/jkns.2014.55.1.48
PMCID: PMC3928349  PMID: 24570819
Brucellosis; Spinal infections; Treatment; Vertebral collapse

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