Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Brucellosis

Contributor(s): Kyle Braund, Autumn P Davidson

Introduction

  • Cause: systemic bacterial infection caused by  a Gram-negative, intracellular, aerobic coccobacillus bacteria, Brucella canis. Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis have occasionally caused canine infections, but comparatively rare.
  • Signs:
    • Female - abortion, infertility.
    • Male - epididymitis, orchitis, prostatitis, testicular atrophy, infertility.
  • Treatment: antibiotics historically unrewarding. May reduce antibody titers, without clearing the infection. Failure and relapses occur.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Causal organism:Brucella canis Brucella canis - gram-negative coccobacillus.
  • Brucella abortus, Brucella melitensis and Brucella suis have occasionally caused canine infections.

Pathophysiology

  • Bacteria → mucous membranes → lymphatic/genital tract tissue. May also spread to non-reproductive tissues, eg intervertebral disks, eyes, kidneys.
  • Highest number of organisms is found in aborted material, urine and semen.
Ingestion or oral contact with
  • Aborted fetal or placental tissue.
  • Vaginal discharge/female genitalia.
  • Mammary secretions.
  • Urine.
Mucosal transmission
  • Can be transmitted without copulation.
Venereal transmission
  • Most common route of infection.
  • Semen.
  • Prostatic fluid.
  • Chronically infected dogs may be serologically negative but organisms persist in urine, prostate, epididymis, within macrophages, leukocytes 'carrier state'.

Timecourse

  • Organisms shed for 4-6 weeks following abortion in female.
  • Brucella canis may be recovered from an infected male for 7-60 weeks.
  • Prolonged bacteremia of 1-2 years not uncommon in non-genital form of disease.
  • Pups may be bacteremic for at least 2 months after birth.

Epidemiology

  • Transmitted via mucous membranes: ingestion/oral, venereal, congenital.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jacobson R H (1996) Laboratory diagnosis of infectious diseasesSemin Vet Med Surg (Small Anim) 11 (3), 133-197 VetMedResource.
  • Mateu-de-Antonio E M et al (1994) Comparison of serologic tests used in canine brucellosis diagnosisJ Vet Diag Invest (2), 257-259 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Davidson A P and Sykes J E (2013) Canine Brucellosis. In: Sykes J E (ed) Canine and Feline Infectious diseases. Elselvier. pp 512-519.
  • Farstad Wenche (2004) Infectious Causes of Pregnancy Loss in Dogs. American College of Theriogenology Annual Conference. pp 225-230.
  • Greene C E (2000)Bacterial diseases. In:Textbook of Veterinary internal Medicine, 5th edn Eds S J Ettinger & E C Feldman. Philedelphia, PA: W B Saunders Co. pp 183-186.
  • Nelson R W & Couto C G (1992)Genital infections and transmissible venereal tumors.In:Essentials of Small Animal Internal Medicine.Mosby Year Book. Chapter 62.


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