The epidemiological study of a focus of Brucella infection revealed that an outbreak of brucellosis occurred in a small town, and the source of this infection was a domestic cat. As the result of contacts with this cat, six persons, among them three children aged 3, 8 and 12 years, had brucellosis. In all these patients acute brucellosis was diagnosed. Simultaneously with the clinical manifestations of the disease, a rise in antibody titer from 1:50 to 1:1,600 was observed. Brucella cultures isolated from the blood of one of the patients and from the internal organs of the cat exhibited the properties, similar to those of "rodent" strains, i. e. their differential signs permit their classification with B. suis, serovar 5.
We used an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) and the rose bengal test (RBT) to test for anti-Brucella antibodies in moose (Alces alces gigas), muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus), and plains bison (Bison bison bison) from various game management units (GMUs) in Alaska, US, sampled from 1982 to 2010. A portion of the sera had previously been tested with the standard plate test (SPT), the buffered Brucella antigen (BBA) card test, and the card test (CARD). No antibody-positive plains bison were identified. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected in moose (iELISA, n=4/87; RBT, n=4/87; SPT, n=4/5; BBA, n=4/4) from GMU 23 captured in 1992, 1993, and 1995 and in muskoxen (iELISA, n=4/52; RBT, n=4/52; CARD, n=4/35) from GMUs 26A and 26B captured in 2004, 2006, and 2007. A negative effect of infection on the health of individuals of these species is probable. The presence of antibody-positive animals from 1992 to 2007 suggests presence of brucellae over time. The antibody-positive animals were found in northern Alaska, an area with a historically higher prevalence of Brucella-positive caribou, and a spillover of Brucella suis biovar 4 from caribou may have occurred. Brucella suis biovar 4 causes human brucellosis, and transmission from consumption of moose and muskoxen is possible.
The aim of the study was to elucidate the possibility of using bacteriocinogenicity of Brucella as taxonomic feature, to determine their phylogenetic relation to other microorganisms by their bacteriocinogenic properties and to investigate the physicochemical properties of brucellacin and conditions for its stable detection. The Brucella cultures were isolated in the Caucasus. Investigation of their capacity for production of bacteriocin according to the procedure described by M.A. Konstantinova and A.D. Garmazova (1979) revealed that 62.1 per cent of the 216 cultures tested produced brucellacin. Isolation of bacteriocin with the methods developed was shown possible in all of the tested strains of B. melitensis, B. abortus, B. suis and in most of the strains of B. ovis. The methods also provided an increase in the synthesis and activity of brucellacin. The analysis of the characteristic features of bacteriocinogenicity and the properties of bacteriocin allowed recommending the use of additional taxonomic features for identification and differentiation of Brucella. Sensitivity of the indicator strains of Brucella to bacteriocins of other species (F. tularensis, Campylobacter fetus intestinalis B-8833, Y. enterocolitica, Vibrio cholerae and E. coli Fredericq) was noted which was additional evidence of the phylogenic relation between the above organisms. Investigation of the physicochemical properties of brucellacin confirmed the suggestion of the protein nature of the active principle of brucellacin and its similarity in different Brucella species.
There are three major lineages of marine mammal strains of Brucella spp.: Brucella ceti ST23, found predominantly in porpoises; B. ceti ST26, in pelagic delphinids and ziphiids; and Brucella pinnipedialis ST24/25, predominantly in seals. The isolation of Brucella spp. in mysticetes has been described only in common minke whales ( Balaenoptera acutorostrata ) in Norway and Scotland. We report a third case of Brucella infection and isolation in a minke whale associated with a large abscess. In contrast to the two previous reports that involved isolates of B. pinnipedialis ST24 or the porpoise-associated B. ceti complex ST23, this case was associated with the dolphin-associated B. ceti ST26. Thus, minke whales can be infected naturally with members of all the distinct major lineages of Brucella associated with marine mammals. This report is unique in that the B. ceti ST26 did not originate from a pelagic delphinid or a beaked whale.
Infection with Brucella spp., long known as a cause of abortion, infertility, and reproductive loss in domestic livestock, has increasingly been documented in marine mammals over the past two decades. We report molecular evidence of Brucella infection in Asian sea otters (Enhydra lutris lutris). Brucella DNA was detected in 3 of 78 (4%) rectal swab samples collected between 2004 and 2006 on Bering Island, Russia. These 78 animals had previously been documented to have a Brucella seroprevalence of 28%, markedly higher than the prevalence documented in sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in North America. All of the DNA sequences amplified were identical to one or more previously isolated Brucella spp. including strains from both terrestrial and marine hosts. Phylogenetic analysis of this sequence suggested that one animal was shedding Brucella spp. DNA with a sequence matching a Brucella abortus strain, whereas two animals yielded a sequence matching a group of strains including isolates classified as Brucella pinnipedialis and Brucella melitensis. Our results highlight the diversity of Brucella spp. within a single sea otter population.
Brucellosis, a worldwide zoonosis, is linked to reproductive problems in primary hosts. A high proportion of Brucella-positive hooded seals (Cystophora cristata) have been detected in the declined Northeast Atlantic stock. High concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have also been discovered in top predators in the Arctic, including the hooded seal, PCB 153 being most abundant. The aim of this study was to assess the pathogenicity of Brucella pinnipedialis hooded seal strain in the mouse model and to evaluate the outcome of Brucella spp. infection after exposure of mice to PCB 153. BALB/c mice were infected with B. pinnipedialis hooded seal strain or Brucella suis 1330, and half from each group was exposed to PCB 153 through the diet. B. pinnipedialis showed a reduced pathogenicity in the mouse model as compared to B. suis 1330. Exposure to PCB 153 affected neither the immunological parameters, nor the outcome of the infection. Altogether this indicates that it is unlikely that B. pinnipedialis contribute to the decline of hooded seals in the Northeast Atlantic.