Brucella spp. is the aetiological agent of brucellosis, a serious contagious disease that results in reproductive failure and that has profound public health significance because of its zoonotic characteristics. This disease also is responsible for a high economic impact associated with the application of prevention, surveillance and test-and-slaughter programmes in animals by national authorities. Brucella spp. infects a large variety of animals and their prevalence is variable worldwide, mainly associated with the presence or absence of control programmes and also with the vaccination of animals against brucellosis. To achieve the control and eradication of brucellosis, the identification of the risk factors of brucellosis that maintain the infection in animals and/or the environment is fundamental. Although several risks have been identified, the most important have been associated with the biology of the bacteria, animal management (age, sex, species or breed), herd management (herd/flock size, number of species, contact with wild animals or type of animal production), farm management (facilities, cleaning and disinfection or veterinary support) and farmers’ knowledge about the disease. Thus, to benefit from proper risk identification of brucellosis, it is essential to put a cost-effective and efficient brucellosis control programme into place.
Part of the book: Updates on Brucellosis