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Published Date: 2018-12-27 10:11:38
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Brucellosis - USA (08): (PA) bovine, human
Archive Number: 20181227.6223249
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 22 Dec 2018
Source: Penn Live [edited]

Officials with Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture are asking consumers to discard certain dairy products purchased from a farm in Lancaster county.

Unpasteurized cow's milk or dairy products from Miller's Biodiversity Farm in Lancaster county should immediately be discarded, according to a news release from the agency. The warning comes after officials in New York warned Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture (PDA) that raw milk products purchased at the farm may contain a strain of _Brucella abortus_ bacteria.

"PDA has issued an order of quarantine to halt the sale of dairy products made from raw cow's milk from the farm while an investigation is conducted," according to the release. "Pasteurized dairy products from Miller's Biodiversity Farm have been deemed safe."

Officials note that pasteurized milk sold elsewhere in the state is safe to consume.

One person in New York has been diagnosed with _B. abortus_ after confirmation by the Centers for Disease Control. The illness causes no clinical signs in cattle, but it can be spread to humans.

Symptoms (in people) include flu-like symptoms, fever, sweats, headaches, back pain, and physical weakness.

[Byline: Travis Kellar]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[The article mentioned raw, unpasteurized milk as being the source. The type of test used to test the milk may have other bacteria causing a positive cross reaction. Depending upon the test used, a repeat test with a laboratory reference method should be used.

This article mentions Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which is in the southern portion of the state, but the _Brucellosis_ sp. positive individual was in New York state. So, one wonders whether the ill person in New York was traveling and purchased the milk or whether the individual lives in northern Pennsylvania and was transported to a hospital in New York, or whether this is from the same dairy?

This article is referring to the bacterium _Brucella abortus_. The infectious disease can affect humans, wildlife and domestic animals, including dogs. Historically, cattle have been the primary carriers, but as states move more into close interaction with wildlife, such as the Greater Yellowstone area, or with managing cervids and buffalo, the carrier in a particular area may not necessarily be cattle. Other wildlife carriers include bison, elk, reindeer, caribou and feral swine.

Large animals, especially elk and bison may have no obvious signs of the disease. The _Brucella_ bacterium collects in the lymphatic system, the udder and the reproductive tract. Abortion is a sign of the disease. Other signs in animals may include retained placenta, swollen testicles, reduced pregnancy rates, decreased milk production and swollen, painful joints.

In humans, this disease is known by several names, including Malta fever, Mediterranean fever and undulant fever. Humans may acquire the disease through assisting an infected animal in the birthing process, examining an aborted fetus without protection, drinking unpasteurized milk or other dairy products, through an open wound, or even intact skin, or a splash of infected body fluids into the eyes, nose or mouth. Slaughterhouse workers and veterinarians are at risk because of the nature of their jobs. Consumption of infected raw meat by humans may also be a source of infection, however if the meat is properly cooked it does not present a disease risk.

When a person is infected, clinical signs and symptoms may include fever, body aches, anorexia, lethargy, weakness, fatigue as well as swollen lymph nodes and possibly enlargement of the spleen and liver. Symptoms may develop over several weeks or months, or even immediately. Joints, bones, and especially the spine may be painful. Other joints such as ankles, hips, knees and shoulders may be swollen, warm, and painful. - Mod.TG

That the strain has been characterized as _B. abortus_ suggests that, like several past cases, this one is related to the bovine vaccine strain. RB51, a live-attenuated vaccine used to prevent _B. abortus_ infection in cattle, has been documented to cause human disease, most commonly through occupational exposures such as needle sticks. Importantly, unlike wild strains of _B. abortus_, RB51 does not stimulate an antibody response detectable by routine serological assays, requiring culture for confirmation. Additionally, RB51 is resistant to rifampin, a common treatment choice for human brucellosis. - Mod.LL

HealthMap/ProMED maps available at:
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/3393
New York State, United States: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/234]

See Also

Brucellosis - USA (07): (WY) bovine 20181122.6158858
Brucellosis - USA (06): (WY) bovine 20181116.6148746
Brucellosis - USA (05): (Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem) elk, bovine 20181031.6122576
Brucellosis - USA (04): (WY) bovine 20181012.6088330
Brucellosis, canine - USA: public health risk 20180818.5974044
Brucellosis - USA (03): (OR) B. abortus vaccine infection, needle stick, 2017 20180705.5890072
Brucellosis - USA (02): (MT) elk, 20180326.5711704
Brucellosis - USA: (TX) unpasteurized milk, B. abortus vaccine strain, 2017, CDC 20180308.5674369
Brucellosis - USA (07): (MT) bovine 20170826.5275885
Brucellosis - USA (06): (TX) unpasteurized milk, alert, recall, RFI 20170816.5253834
Brucellosis - USA (05): (TX) human, unpasteurized milk, alert 20170815.5251979
Brucellosis - USA (04): (MT) bison 20170717.5183003
Brucellosis, transmission dynamics - USA: (WY) elk, bison, cattle 20160520.4235139
Brucellosis, bison - USA (09) (MT) 20111204.3528
Brucellosis, bovine - USA (04): (WY) bison 20101202.4325
Brucellosis, bison vaccination - USA (WY) 20040327.0847
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (07) 19990606.0950
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (06) 19990528.0893
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (05) 19990526.0884
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (04) 19990524.0870
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (03) 19990521.0835
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (03) 19990519.0827
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control (02) 19990514.0787
Brucellosis, bison - USA (Montana): control 19990512.0775

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