Brucellosis is a zoonotic disease caused by infection with Brucella bacteria which are transmitted to humans by various livestock species. Humans typically acquire the disease by consuming contaminated animal products, through direct contact with infected animals or handling of contaminated animal products, or by inhaling airborne agents. The majority of human cases are caused by ingesting unpasteurized milk or cheese from infected goats or sheep; person-to-person transmission is rare. Brucella is rapidly transmitted between livestock. The infection reduces productivity and reproduction, which can result in serious economic losses.
Manifestations of human brucellosis are non-specific and resemble those of other infections and non-infectious diseases. The disease causes flu-like symptoms including fever, weakness, malaise and weight loss. If left untreated the disease may become persistent with the risk of localized infection and complications that can be highly disabling. Brucellosis is a potential severe disease, but responds well to antibiotic treatment, provided that treatment is started early after infection. Hence, early detection is crucial.
Brucellosis cannot be detected without proper diagnostic testing. The MondialDx Brucella Human IgM/IgG LFA is a simple and rapid test for the detection of Brucella-specific IgM and IgG antibodies. Specific IgM antibodies predominate early after disease onset, which specific IgG antibodies typically remain present for an extended period and predominate in persistent infections and during relapse or reinfection. Specific LFAs are available for cattle, goat, sheep, and swine. The assays can be performed outside the laboratory, without the need for specific equipment, and yields results in 10-15 minutes.
- Smits et al. Immunochromatographic Brucella-specific immunoglobulin M and G lateral flow assays for rapid serodiagnosis of human brucellosis. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 10: 1141-1146 (2003)
- Imak et al. Use of the Brucella IgM and IgG flow assays in the serodiagnosis of human brucellosis in an area endemic for brucellosis. Am J Trop Med Hyg 70: 688-694 (2004)
- Abdoel et al. Simple and rapid field tests for brucellosis in livestock. Vet Microbiol, 130: 312-319 (2008)
- Bronsvoort et al. Comparison of a flow assay for brucellosis antibodies with het reference cELISA test in West African Bos indicus. Plos One 4: e5221 (2009)