Brucellosis represents a serious health threat to human populations living in areas endemic for the disease. The clinical manifestations of brucellosis are protean and non-specific, and laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis is crucial for an adequate management of the patient and implementation of infection control measures aimed to control the disease in affected herds. Although brucellosis can be confirmed by serologic tests and nucleic acid amplification assays, culture detection of circulating Brucella organisms remains a diagnostic cornerstone. Traditionally, prolonged incubation of media and performance of blind subcultures of negative blood culture vials have been recommended to maximize isolation of the organism. In recent years, modern automated blood culture systems have revolutionized the diagnosis of human brucellosis by improving sensitivity and enabling detection of brucellae within the routine one-week incubation protocol followed in most Clinical Microbiology laboratories. Development of molecular techniques and mass-spectrometry technology have also shortened the time needed to identify members of the genus, whereas use of biological safety cabinets considerably reduce the risks of contagion to laboratory personnel.
Part of the book: Updates on Brucellosis