NewsDesk @bactiman63

Between January 1 and December 31, 2022, 40 new cases of brucellosis were declared in 2022 in 12 French regions, including 10 (25%) in Ile-de-France and 8 (20%) in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.

Image/Robert Herriman

Thirty-four strains belonged to the species Brucella melitensis , one to the species B. abortus and one had not been characterized. Thirty-eight (95%) of 40 cases were related to “imported” infections: travel to Algeria (n=24), Turkey (n=4), Tunisia and Djibouti (n=2 each), and Armenia, China and Lebanon (n=1 each).

In 2022, the third year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic , the number of brucellosis cases returned to 2019 levels (n=42), in line with the resumption of travel to countries considered endemic.

Present worldwide, brucellosis is a bacterial disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. Acute human brucellosis can progress to a chronic form with severe focal damage, such as spinal infections or brain abscesses. It is a notifiable disease in most countries. The incidence of human brucellosis is estimated by the WHO worldwide at 500,000 new cases per year.

Zoonotic Diseases

In France, this disease is now rare and has decreased considerably since the 1960s, in connection with the improvement of the disease situation in ruminants. Currently, about 80% of cases diagnosed on French territory are the result of an infection contracted during a trip to a country where the animal disease is not under control. These infections mainly occur in people who have consumed contaminated dairy products or who have been in direct contact with an infected animal.

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How can one be infected?

The risk of contamination can occur:

  • by direct contact with sick animals;
  • by ingestion of contaminated food (unpasteurized milk and dairy products from contaminated animals, more rarely raw vegetables contaminated by manure or exceptionally insufficiently cooked meat and offal);
  • by inhalation (litter dust, contaminated aerosol in laboratories or slaughterhouses).