In Practice

Human brucellosis in South Africa: Public health and diagnostic pitfalls

Justyna Maria Wojno, Clinton Moodley, Jaco Pienaar, Natalie Beylis, Lourens Jacobsz, Mark P Nicol, Jenny Rossouw, Colleen Bamford

Abstract


Human brucellosis in South Africa (SA) is under-diagnosed and under-reported. This is because many clinicians have little or no experience in managing affected patients, and in part because of the nonspecific and insidious nature of the disease. A case of human brucellosis caused by Brucella melitensis in a patient from the Western Cape Province of SA is described, and the resulting exposure of staff members at two medical microbiology laboratories, as well as the public health investigation that was conducted, are discussed. This article aims to highlight the need for strengthening integration between public health, medical and veterinary services and exposing deficiencies in public health, veterinary and laboratory practices.

 


Authors' affiliations

Justyna Maria Wojno, National Health Laboratory Service, Microbiology Laboratory, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Clinton Moodley, National Health Laboratory Service, Microbiology Laboratory, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Jaco Pienaar, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Animal Health: Beaufort West), Western Cape, South Africa

Natalie Beylis, National Health Laboratory Service, Microbiology Laboratory, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Lourens Jacobsz, National Health Laboratory Service, George Hospital, Western Cape, South Africa

Mark P Nicol, National Health Laboratory Service, Microbiology Laboratory, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Jenny Rossouw, Special Bacterial Pathogens Reference Laboratory, Centre for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham, Johannesburg, South Africa

Colleen Bamford, National Health Laboratory Service, Microbiology Laboratory, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa; Division of Medical Microbiology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Full Text

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Keywords

Zoonosis; Outbreak; Brucellosis

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(9):883-885. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i9.11020

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-05-09
Date published: 2016-08-01

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