Brucella canis is a bacterium that causes brucellosis in dogs. It can also cause infection in humans. Typically, there is a low risk of infection for pet owners.
Dog breeders and veterinary staff, however, face an increased risk since they may be exposed to blood, tissues, and fluids associated with the birthing process.
Laboratory staff exposed to Brucella canis (or any other Brucella species) should follow CDC recommendations for exposure in a laboratory setting.
Currently, there are no serological tests to detect antibodies to Brucella canis. Therefore, more attention should be given to symptom monitoring.
Pet owners who feel that they may have been exposed should contact their local or state health departments for guidance.
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2012