The paper describes the history and evolvement of brucellosis in China. It presents the variation of epidemic situation, epidemiological characteristics, application of vaccines and control in brief. Before 1980s, human and animal brucellosis was quite severe; during 1980s, the incidence of human and animal brucellosis was relatively low, and seemed to decrease during the decade. During 1990s, there were no obvious changes in the incidence of animal brucellosis, but the incidence of human brucellosis increased, especially from 1995 to 2001. There are not only some common characteristics but also some differences in brucellosis epidemiology relative to that reported in the rest of the world. For the entire country, B. melitensis was the predominant strain associated with outbreaks, and the epidemic peak is from February to June. Several Brucella vaccines have been used in China for prevention and control of brucellosis. such as B. abortus 104 M in humans, B. suis S2 in animals. The introduction of comprehensive measures has allowed great progress in the prevention and control of brucellosis in China. Surveillance points were set-up countrywide to estimate the epidemic situation. In addition, we discussed the new characteristics of brucellosis in China, the influence of the El Nino phenomenon on brucellosis epidemic situation, the phenomenon of antigenic interference between Brucella species and some disadvantages of live Brucella vaccines.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.