[Brucellosis in pregnancy]

Harefuah. 1998 Jul;135(1-2):3-7, 88.
[Article in Hebrew]


Brucellosis is rare in pregnancy. Recently, an increase in the incidence of this disease has been observed in our area. We present 7 cases of brucellosis in pregnancy and review the literature on the effects of brucellosis on the outcome of pregnancy. Brucellosis is rare in the Middle East and Africa and the most common source of infection is unpasteurized milk products. Brucella is a coccobacillus, gram-negative bacterium, whose hosts are mostly animals. There is controversy about the relationship between brucellosis and the outcome of pregnancy. There is some evidence that there is a higher rate of complications such as abortion, premature rupture of membranes and preterm delivery in infected animals. Reasons for this difference in the impact of brucella in animals and man include the absence of the carbohydrate erythritol in the human placenta, which appears to be a preferential medium and growth factor for brucella in the placentas of animals. There is uncertainty regarding effects of brucella in early pregnancy and no evidence of its transplacental passage in later pregnancy, causing adverse obstetrical outcome, although recently there has been a single report of Brucella abortus (biotype 2). We present 7 cases of brucellosis in pregnant women found between 1977-1988. Its incidence among the women who delivered here is 0.007% (7/92, 768 deliveries). Our first case was complicated by preterm premature rupture of membranes and preterm delivery in the 20th week of gestation. In 2 other cases there was preterm delivery with 1 developing clinical chorioamnionitis. The 4 remaining women delivered at term, although 1 had preterm premature rupture of membranes and intra-uterine growth retardation, and 2 had postpartum endometritis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brucellosis / drug therapy
  • Brucellosis / epidemiology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Rifampin / therapeutic use
  • Tetracycline / therapeutic use
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use


  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination
  • Tetracycline
  • Rifampin