A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Epidemiology and Clinical Manifestations of Human Brucellosis in China

Biomed Res Int. 2018 Apr 22:2018:5712920. doi: 10.1155/2018/5712920. eCollection 2018.


Background. Brucellosis has a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations and it may last several days or even several years; however, it is often misdiagnosed and therefore may cause inadequate therapy and prolonged illness. Previous studies about meta-analysis of manifestations of brucellosis reported in English lacked the data published in Chinese, which did not provide details about the contact history, laboratory tests, and misdiagnosis. We undertake a meta-analysis of clinical manifestations of human brucellosis in China to identify those gaps in the literature. We have searched published articles in electronic databases up to December 2016 identified as relating to clinical features of human brucellosis in China. 68 studies were included in the analysis. The main clinical manifestations were fever, fatigue, arthralgia, and muscle pain (87%, 63%, 62%, and 56%, resp.). There are significant differences between adults and children. Rash, respiratory and cardiac complications, and orchitis/epididymitis were more prevalent in children patients. The common complications of brucellosis were hepatitis, followed by osteoarthritis, respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system dysfunction, hemophagocytic syndrome, and orchitis/epididymitis in male. In the nonpastoral areas, brucellosis has a high ratio of misdiagnosis. Our analysis provides further evidence for the accurate diagnosis, particularly in assessing severe, debilitating sequelae of this infection.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brucellosis / complications
  • Brucellosis / diagnosis
  • Brucellosis / epidemiology*
  • Brucellosis / pathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Incidence