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Review
. 2017 May;22(5):539-546.
doi: 10.1111/tmi.12856. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Human-to-human Transmission of Brucella - A Systematic Review

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Review

Human-to-human Transmission of Brucella - A Systematic Review

Felipe F Tuon et al. Trop Med Int Health. .
Free article

Abstract

Objective: The most common form of transmitting human brucellosis is through contaminated food or direct contact with infected animals. Human-to-human transmission (HHT) has been described as isolated case reports. The aim of this systematic review was to describe all cases of HHT of human brucellosis reported in the medical literature.

Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Scopus and Scielo databases using specific search terms published until March 2016. Two investigators independently determined study eligibility. All clinical data were evaluated to construct a table comprising the most important clinical aspects, age, gender, confirmed infection and detection method, transmission method and HHT confirmation and potential source of infection for human transmission. No statistical method was employed in this study.

Results: The initial search resulted in 615 publications, but only 35 were included. 45 brucellosis HHT cases were identified. 61% of patients who acquired brucellosis from another human were <1 year old (newborn and breastfeeding). Other cases include sexual transmission, blood transfusion, bone marrow transplantation and aerosol from an infected patient. Most patients (40/45) presented symptoms upon diagnosis. Diagnostic tests included culture, molecular methods and serum testing.

Conclusion: Human brucellosis is a disease liable to transmission between humans by placental barrier, lactation, sexual and tissues such as blood and bone marrow. The indication for screening in tissue banks, transplants, blood and pregnancy is not yet established.

Keywords: Brucella; Brucellosis; Brucelosis; brucellose; revisión sistemática; revue systématique; systematic review; transmisión; transmission.

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