Brucellosis is a systemic bacterial disease of animals caused by one of several Brucella species (abortus, melitensis, suis, canis) that can be transmitted to humans through one of three methods: 1) consumption of contaminated milk or meat; 2) handling of infected animal fetuses, vaginal fluid, or products of birth; or 3) inhalation of the organism in laboratories or slaughterhouses. Person-to-person transmission has been recorded by sexual activity and breast-feeding mothers.
Brucella cases in humans rarely occur in Indiana or elsewhere in the United States due to the efforts of the USDA and state animal health agencies to eliminate Brucella from livestock herds over the last 60-70 years.
There were no reported cases of brucellosis in 2004 or during the five-year reporting period 2000-2004 in Indiana.
Since Brucella can be transmitted by inhalation, it is considered a Category B bioterrorism agent*.
You can learn more about Brucella by visiting the following Web site: http://www.in.gov/isdh/25549.htm