Have you heard of brucellosis? What symptoms can occur after contracting the disease?


Brucellosis, also known as undulant fever or Malta fever, is a zoonotic infectious disease caused by the bacterium Brucella. This bacterium is mainly transmitted through various routes such as food, water, and air, leading to a range of symptoms upon infection. Understanding the symptoms and treatment of brucellosis is crucial for prevention and control of the disease.

I. Symptoms of Brucellosis

  1. Acute Phase: The acute phase has a relatively short duration, with symptoms typically appearing within 2-3 weeks. Common manifestations include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, and other systemic symptoms. Some patients may also experience skin rashes, enlarged lymph nodes, and more. These symptoms may gradually disappear within a few days or weeks, but in certain cases, they may persist and transition into a chronic form.
  2. Chronic Phase: The chronic phase can last for several months to years, and symptoms in chronic brucellosis patients are more complex, including the following types:(1) Osteoarticular Type: Characterized by recurrent joint pain, swelling, and limited mobility, often affecting joints such as the knee, hip, and lumbar spine. This type may lead to severe joint damage and disability.

    (2) Neurological Type: Presents with damage to the nervous system, resulting in symptoms like headache, insomnia, memory loss, hearing loss, blurry vision, and more. This type can significantly impact the daily life of the affected individuals.

    (3) Genitourinary Type: In male patients, it may lead to conditions like orchitis and epididymitis, while female patients may experience endometritis and salpingitis. This type can affect the fertility of individuals.

    (4) Gastrointestinal Type: Manifests as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and other digestive symptoms. This type may lead to malnutrition and weight loss in patients.

    (5) Cutaneous Type: Characterized by skin lesions such as erythema, nodules, ulcers, etc. This type can have an impact on the appearance and psychological well-being of the patients.

II. Treatment of Brucellosis

  1. Antibiotic Therapy: The primary treatment for brucellosis involves the use of antibiotics, such as streptomycin, doxycycline, and rifampin. The treatment duration is typically 6-8 weeks, and in severe cases, it may extend to 12 weeks. Antibiotic treatment should be conducted under the guidance of a medical professional to avoid the development of antibiotic resistance.
  2. Symptomatic Treatment: Tailored symptomatic treatment measures, such as antipyretics and analgesics, are employed to address specific symptoms. This can help alleviate the patient’s symptoms and improve their quality of life.
  3. Immunomodulatory Therapy: Immunomodulators like gamma-interferon may be used for patients with compromised immune function to enhance their immune response. This can aid in better disease resistance and reduce the risk of recurrence.
  4. Rehabilitation Therapy: For chronic brucellosis patients, rehabilitation therapy, including physical therapy and psychological support, can be beneficial post-stabilization. This helps alleviate symptoms, restore function, and assist patients in returning to normal life and work.

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