Risks from Unpasteurized Dairy Products
February 8, 2019
The CDC and state health officials are investigating potential exposures to Brucella RB51 in 19 states, connected to consuming raw (unpasteurized) milk from Miller’s Biodiversity Farm in Quarryville, Pennsylvania.
Raw milk and milk products are those that have not undergone a process called pasteurization that kills disease-causing germs. These types of products are common outside the United States and are increasingly being sold in mainstream supermarkets in the United States as well.
Consumption of raw milk containing Brucella can cause brucellosis. Most cases of brucellosis associated with raw milk are caused by a strain called Brucella melitensis or Brucella abortus in people who traveled to countries where these strains are common and drank contaminated cow, sheep or goat milk. In rare cases, brucellosis cases associated with other strains, including RB51 and Brucella suis, are reported.
RB51 is resistant to certain antibiotics that would normally be used to prevent or treat Brucella infections. CDC recommends that anyone exposed to RB51 receive antibiotics to prevent an infection.
Treatment recommendations: Exposure to RB51 through Raw Milk or Milk Products: How to Reduce Risk of Infection.