An Imported Case of Brucella melitensis Infection in South Korea

Infect Chemother. 2018 Jun;50(2):149-152. doi: 10.3947/ic.2018.50.2.149.


Brucellosis is a zoonotic infection that is usually transmitted from cattle to humans through ingestion of animal milk, direct contact with animal parts, or inhalation of aerosolized particles. In Korea, brucellosis seem to be transmitted through close contact with blood, fetus, urine, and placenta of domestic cow that has been infected by Brucella abortus, or inhalation of B. arbortus while examining or slaughtering cow. Brucella melitensis infection is rare in Korea and there have been no reported cases of B. melitensis originating from other countries until now. This report details a case of complicated brucellosis with infective spondylitis in a 48-year-old male construction worker recently returned from Iraq. Infection with B. melitensis was confirmed using 16s rRNA sequencing and omp31 gene analysis. The patient was successfully treated using a combination of rifampin, doxycycline, and streptomycin, in accordance with WHO guidelines. This is the first reported case of complicated brucellosis with infective spondylitis in Korea caused by B. melitensis originating from Iraq.

Keywords: Brucella melitensis; Brucellosis; Infective spondylitis; Korea; Middle East.

Publication types

  • Case Reports