Brucellosis as a cause of backache

Trop Geogr Med. Jan-Apr 1991;43(1-2):148-51.


Prospective screening of 173 patients with complaints of backache and a history of ingestion of raw milk yielded 21 patients suffering from brucella spondylitis. The overall incidence of brucellosis was 28 in 10,647 patients; 14 out of 21 (67%) presented with acute signs and symptoms of brucella spondylitis and six patients required hospitalization. The majority of the patients had a positive titre of Brucella melitensis and abortus. In 42% of the patients radiographs of the thoraco-lumbar spine showed bony changes. This study stresses the importance of brucellosis as a cause of backache. In spite of the easy availability of the pasteurized milk, people are still getting infected at an alarming rate. We recommend the formulation of 'A National Brucella Eradication Programme' and its implementation.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Back Pain / epidemiology
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Brucellosis / complications*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rural Health
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Spondylitis / epidemiology
  • Spondylitis / microbiology