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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-88
Seropositivity for Brucellosis in veterinarians

1 Department of Microbiology, Reliance Hospital Management Services, Sir Hurkishonndas Nurrotamdas Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India

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Date of Web Publication20-May-2013

How to cite this article:
Patil NB, Damle AS, Bhakare JB, Iravane JA, Khaparkhuntikar MN, Gajbhiye PS. Seropositivity for Brucellosis in veterinarians. J Global Infect Dis 2013;5:87-8

How to cite this URL:
Patil NB, Damle AS, Bhakare JB, Iravane JA, Khaparkhuntikar MN, Gajbhiye PS. Seropositivity for Brucellosis in veterinarians. J Global Infect Dis [serial online] 2013 [cited 2023 Feb 7];5:87-8. Available from:


We tested veterinarians and their assistants working at a bull-rearing center and frozen semen facility for Brucella antibodies.

Forty persons working at the center were examined physically. Out of these, 9 were veterinarians while the remaining 31 their assistants. Most of the personnel (25) were asymptomatic. Nine had joint pains (involving knee, interphalangial joints, etc.). Four had fever.

None of them gave history of consumption of raw milk or milk products. All the veterinarians had worked earlier in different veterinary dispensaries and hospitals, and conducted deliveries. Use of gloves and barrier methods was inconsistent among all the personnel involved.

Brucella antibodies were tested by Rose Bengal Plate Test (RBPT) as a screening test for B. abortus as well as for B. melitensis (Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Addlestone, UK). RBPT was negative in all personnel.

PANBIO Brucella IgG and IgM Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISAs) were performed (PANBIO, Windsor, Brisbane, Australia). Seven out of 40 (17.5%) had anti-Brucella antibodies; IgG was raised in five persons whereas anti-Brucella IgG plus IgM was raised in two. Out of these seven, five were veterinarians.

In veterinarians as a separate entity, Indian workers have reported high seropositivity (14.63%, [1] 25.89% [2] ). However, the figures are lower than those found in this study. Five out of nine (55.5%) veterinarians in our study tested positive for Brucella antibodies. Such high seropositivity (46.42%) in veterinarians has been reported from Turkey. [3] In the absence of history of consuming unpasteurized dairy products, this high rate can be probably explained by direct exposure to Brucella-infected animals.

In review articles, RBPT is shown to be useful as a screening test and its sensitivity is reported to be as high as >99% but specificity low. [4] This was in comparison with tests such as Stadard tube agglutination test (SAT), SAT with 2-mercaptoethanol (2ME), and so on. However, these studies have not compared RBPT with ELISA.

In the Turkish study, [3] ELISA detected more seropositives than RBPT. It is reported that in patients with a long history of disease, brucellosis cannot be ruled out based on a negative Rose Bengal test. [5] We may add that in persons with prolonged exposure to animals, brucellosis cannot be ruled out based on negative a Rose Bengal test. Our findings indicate that since ELISA is more sensitive, it should be used for serodiagnosis of brucellosis.


We thank Dr. Srinivasan, Director, Indian Immunologicals Ltd., Hyderabad and Dr. Mukherjee F, Scientist III, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), c/o Indian Immunologicals Ltd., Hyderabad (a sister concern of NDDB), for providing RBPT reagents and ELISA kits.

   References Top

1.Mudaliar S, Bhore A, Pandit D. Detection of antibodies to Brucella abortus in animal handlers. Indian J Med Sci 2003;57:181-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.Gill JP, Aulakh RS, Sonwinder K, Joshi DV, Sharma DK. Seroepidemiological studies on brucellosis among veterinarians in Punjab state of India. Epidemiol Santé Anim 1997;31-32:04.A.46.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Otlu S, Sahin M, Atabay HI, Unver A. Serological investigations of brucellosis in cattle, farmers and veterinarians in the Kars District of Turkey. Acta Vet Brno 2008;77:117-21.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Mantur BG, Amarnath SK, Shinde RS. Review of clinical and laboratory features of human brucellosis. Indian J Med Microbiol 2007;25:188-202.  Back to cited text no. 4
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5.Serra J, Viñas M. Laboratory diagnosis of brucellosis in a rural epidemic area in northeastern Spain. Int Microbiol 2004;7:53-8.  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
Ajit S Damle
Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Aurangabad, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-777X.112285

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2008 Journal of Global Infectious Diseases | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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