Detection and treatment of brucellosis by screening a population at risk. Academic Article uri icon


  • Brucellosis presents a difficult diagnostic challenge in view of its protean manifestations, multiple organ involvement and variable clinical course. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether active screening of a population at risk, identified through index cases, would enhance the detection rate of brucellosis and improve treatment. During a 1-month period all 98 individuals sharing risk factors with 4 diagnosed symptomatic cases of brucellosis in one Bedouin town in southern Israel were approached and 86 agreed to undergo screening. Symptomatic brucellosis was found in 8 (9%) of the screened population and an additional 5 (6%) asymptomatic individuals were found to be seropositive. These 13 were followed for 12 months. All symptomatic cases were treated and cured. Of the 5 asymptomatic seropositive individuals 2 showed a further elevation of Brucella antibody titers. One became symptomatic, was treated and was cured. This screening program provided 53% of all reported cases from the Bedouin town during the entire year of the study. Screening a population at risk increased the detection rate of brucellosis and improved the treatment.

publication date

  • January 1, 1991