Asymptomatic brucellosis infection in humans: implications for diagnosis and prevention

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Abstract

Human brucellosis is mainly caused by contact with Brucella-infected animals and their secretions and carcasses. Individuals who are continuously in contact with animals are considered to be at a high risk but only some show symptoms and are diagnosed as cases of brucellosis. Here, we showed that asymptomatic brucellosis infections occur among humans. Asymptomatic infections mainly result from less frequent contact with Brucella and/or contact with low-virulence Brucella. In our study, patients with asymptomatic infection had low antibody titres and different contact patterns. Awareness of asymptomatic infection is important for early diagnosis of brucellosis and prevention of chronic infection.

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