Brucellosis is reviewed with regard to its epidemiology, etiology, pathology, clinical diagnostic criteria, methods of prevention, and research needs. Brucellosis is defined as an infectious disease caused by microorganisms of the genus Brucella that usually infect domestic animals but which could be transmitted to humans. The diseases of public health concern are Brucella-abortus, Brucella- suis, and Brucella-melitensis. Occupational populations at risk include livestock producers, veterinarians, and rendering plant and abattoir employees. Approximately 200 cases are reported on an annual basis, and about half of those occur in an industrial setting. The disease in humans is characterized by malaise, fever, chills, headache, anorexia, body aches, lymphadenopathy, and splenomegaly. Effective treatment occurs with tetracycline with or without streptomycin. Protective clothing in abattoirs has not been shown to be effective in preventing the disease. Abattoir kill department workers represent less than 20 percent of the total abattoir workers in the United States but account for 75 percent of the Brucella infections reported in abattoir employees. Worker education and strict enforcement of kill room hygiene as well as early diagnosis and treatment of the disease are recommended by the authors as the best methods of prevention.
Occupational Respiratory Diseases. J. A. Merchant, Editor; Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Appalachian Laboratory for Occupational Safety and Health, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 86-102