alexa Brucellosis in Dogs | OMICS International
ISSN: 2329-891X
Journal of Tropical Diseases & Public Health
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Brucellosis in Dogs

Vieira RBK*, Brasão SC, Bisinoto MB, Silva DM, Silva NAM, Eurides D, Lima AMC

Laboratory of infectious diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Uberlandia, Brazil

*Corresponding Author:
Vieira RBK*, Brasão SC, Bisinoto MB, Silva DM, Silva NAM, Eurides D, Lima AMC  
Laboratory of infectious diseases
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Federal University of Uberlandia
Tel: (+55) 34 996897098
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: July 03, 2016; Accepted date: July 10, 2016; Published date: July 31, 2016

Citation: Vieira RBK, Brasão SC, Bisinoto MB, Silva DM, Silva NAM, et al. (2016) Brucellosis in Dogs. J Trop Dis 4:218. doi:10.4172/2329-891X.1000218

Copyright: © 2016 Vieira RBK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License; which permits unrestricted use; distribution; and reproduction in any medium; provided the original author and source are credited.

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The brucellosis is a cronical contagious disease that affects animals and humans, been characterized as a zoonosis. The present study aimed to the detection of brucelosis in 66 dogs examined at the Veterinary Hospital of the Federal University of Uberlândia, naturally infected with Ehrlichia sp. For this study, two species of Brucella were selected, B. abortus and B. canis. For B. abortus the disease was diagnosed with the Rose Bengal Test, confirmed by the ME-RSAT test, and the B. canis was dignosed by a Veterinary Diagnostic comercial kit specifically for it. The prevalence of B. abortus was found in 16 of the 66 dogs evaluated (24.24%), with five confirmed by the ME-RSAT test, and no reagent for B. canis. Positive animals had mainly reproductive problems. With the presented results, it can be concluded that brucellosis is a present disease in dogs and probably have being neglected by the occurrence of erlichiosis at the same time.


B. abortus ; B. canis ; Brucellosis; Erlichiosis; Canine


Brucellosis is an infectious disease of chronic character that affects most domestic animals and even humans, is characterized as a zoonotic disease [1]. Caused by facultative intracellular bacteria of the genus Brucella spp , the main species are B. abortus, B. canis, B. ovis and B. melitensis [2].

It is classified as a disease list B by the International Organization of Epizoonoses (OIE), which are included the diseases that have socioeconomic importance and / or public health because they have significant consequences for international trade of animals and animal products.

With the growth of small animal market and its proximity to officers and their families, a correct diagnosis of diseases is important, especially if this is contagious and poses risks to humans. The dogs are susceptible to infection by strains of the species B. abortus, B. ovis and B. canis , may be found in acute or chronic phases [2].

Brucellosis in dogs has no specific clinical signs and when there are symptoms, it is usually reproductive character [3]. For this reason, it is often overlooked clinically, being confused with other reproductive disorders. Therefore, veterinarians do not request tests for diagnosis of the disease, keeping it in the environment in which the animal is inserted, whether rural or urban, lending itself as a source of infection to other animals and humans. Dogs can contract this disease when in contact with contaminated material such as meat, milk, blood, placenta or other biological materials [4].

As brucellosis, ehrlichiosis is an infectious disease of dogs and is characterized as zoonosis [5]. Very common in dogs in Brazil, it is characterized by thrombocytopenia and usually DHF. To be its vector the tick Rhipicephalus sanguineus and this is a common ectoparasites in dogs is a disease of high prevalence and difficult to eradicate [6].

Given that the ehrlichiosis is one of the most common diseases in dogs in Brazil, leaving debilitated dogs and susceptible to other infections, this study aimed to research anti B. abortus and B. canis in dogs with presence of morula of Ehrlichia sp.

Material and Methods

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee on the Use of Animals (CEUA-UFU 036/14).

They were taken at the Veterinary Hospital of the Federal University of Uberlândia, 66 samples of blood serum positive dog’s ehrlichiosis, the morula detection in peripheral blood smear, from September 2013 to April 2014.

To detect the presence of anti- B.abortus antibodies, was applied to all 66 samples the test antigen Buffered Acidified (AAT) (Paraná Institute of Technology - TECPAR, Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil). For this we used a glass plate with four cm enclosed square, which was applied 30 � serum to be tested, and, next to this but still in the same square, 30 � antigen B. abortus . After that, the serum with the antigen mixed so as to form a circle of approximately two centimeters.

This mixture was homogenized using a circular motion to the plate for 4 minutes and the results were interpreted on the plate over an indirect light box, where it was considered the presence of lumps as a positive result, and absence of lumps, a negative result. The agglutination reactions that occurred after four minutes were not considered [7].

For confirmatory test Slow Agglutination Test (SAL) and 2- mercaptoethanol (ME) were used two four tubes for each sample series, following dilutions 1:25, 1:50, 1: 100, 1: 200. In a series of tubes (T) were homogenized 2.0 ml of antigen diluted in fenicada solution and 100 litre of saline solution. In another series (F) was added 1.0 mL of Me 2 inhomogeneous solution, and after 30 minutes, added 1.0 mL of 50% antigen. Tubes of both series were kept in a 37°C oven for 48 hours and the results interpreted as positive (presence of lumps in salt and ME), negative (no lumps of salt and ME) or inconsistent (presence of lumps in one of tests) after reading light source [8].

The diagnosis of B. canis was performed with Alere Brucellosis Canine Test Kit, a kit for rapid immunochromatographic test (Alere, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA). The test was performed according to manufacturer's specification, which after 20 minutes was possible to verify a pink line on the tag control (C) independent of the result and, if positive, there is a pink line on the tag T.

The clinical records of the animals were evaluated for age, sex, race, residence (urban or rural perimeter), food (homemade food or commercial food), as well as clinical signs of ocular, neurological, reproductive changes, liver, spleen and palpable lymph nodes. Fisher's exact test was used for statistical interpretation of data [9].


For the AAT test, 24.24% (16/66) of the evaluated animals were positive for B. abortus . Of these, 7.57% (5/66) had confirmation by 2- ME test and SAL for this bacterial species. With respect to B. canis , all animals tested were negative for immunochromatographic analysis.

In the evaluations of medical records, 43.75% (7/16) of the positive dogs for the AAT test had ocular manifestations such as purulent secretions, lacrimation, episcleral congested vessels and the presence of calcium deposits. 12.5% (2/16) of the dogs was noted neurological clinical signs, which are ataxia, head tilt, head pressing and absence of movement of the hindquarters.

In 43.75% (7/16) of positive animals to AAT observed presence of reproductive changes, such as the presence of nodules in the mammary glands, pyometra, vulvar swelling, uterine hyperplasia, extended heat, penile edema. Changes spleen and liver were also found, including swelling by palpation, and by ultrasound, and presence of granulation hiperecoigenicidade in 43.75% (7/16) dogs.

Lymph nodes were increased on palpation in 25% (4/16) of reagents for dog’s B. abortus by AAT test.


Of the 16 positive animals for B. abortus by AAT test, 56.25% (9/16) lived in urban areas and were fed feed, while 37.5% (6/16) lived in urban areas and were fed food home, according to an analysis of medical records. Only 6.25 (1/16) lived in the countryside, feeding with homemade food. However, the relationship between food, housing and positivity for B. abortus was not significant (p = 0.4375).

Although brucellosis is a chronic disease in dogs [8], clinical signs consistent with infection were found by Brucella sp by other authors [2]. They were noted eye, reproductive changes in lymph nodes, spleen, and liver and to a lesser extent, neurological changes. However, it is important that the ehrlichiosis in dogs is also able to cause eye, spleen and liver abnormalities, which could confuse before diagnosis.

Although no significant results in relation to housing, food and infection with B. abortus were positive 93.75% (15/16) urban animals for this bacterium. Now it raises the hypothesis of meat or contaminated milk, which suggests that animals positive for brucellosis are slaughtered [10, 11].

Given that these positive dogs have contact with other animals of the same species and humans, there is concern with regard to contamination through contact with secretions with bacterial load, such as urine, feces, vaginal secretion, and ejaculate [4]. Urban dogs infected with B. abortus may have contracted from the consumption of contaminated animal products. Thus, not only increases the concern for the health of dogs, but also to public health [12].

Knowledge of brucellosis in dogs is information that not only alert generates veterinary medical community and infectious disease, but also the kennels owners, who may suffer serious financial losses if there is an infected animal on their property [13], or even longer lost litters with this disease, not investigated.

As for B. canis , all dogs of this research were negative. The results obtained in this work does not imply the absence of B. canis , since previous studies confirm infection by this bacterium dogs to 14.2% (90/635 animals) through Imunidifusão tests in agar gel (AGID) with strain rugosa [8]. With, the application of the test with specific antigen in Colombia, obtained positive for both 27.7% (61/220) dogs, and for 17.3% (9/52) human [14]. For this reason, B. canis should not be neglected.


The presence of anti B.abortus in dogs with morula Ehrlichia species demonstrated the possibility of brucellosis and ehrlichiosis while highlighting the need to increase the investigation of brucellosis. Because in addition to cause clinical signs similar to those of ehrlichiosis can be transmitted to humans.


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