Malta fever or undulant fever or Brucellosis

Malta fever is also called as undulant fever or Brucellosis. It is common zoonotic disease that can spread from animals to humans.

Name of diseaseBrucellosis
Undulant fever
Malta fever
Mediterranean fever
Type of diseaseZoonotic disease spreads from animals to humans
Causative agentBrucella abortus (cattle),
Brucella melitensis (goat/sheep),
Brucella suis (swine)
Brucella canis (dog)

These 4 species infection other animals.
They are most common cause of undulant fever or malta fever in humans.
Causative agentsmall, aerobic
Gram-negative coccobacillary bacteria
First infectsInoculation through cuts or abrasions in the skin
Inoculation of the conjunctival sac of
the eye
Inhalation of infectious aerosols
Ingestion of contaminated meat or dairy products
Most commonly spreadsConsumption of unpasteurised dairy products and milk
SymptomsSymptoms are vague and difficult to diagnosis of Malta fever or Undulant fever.

Visit to rural areas and presence of cattle, consumption of unpasteurized milk provides a clue for diagnosis.

Triad of Fever, arthralgia/arthritis, and hepatosplenomegaly.
Abdominal pain
Night sweats
Cough, and pharyngitis

In children symptoms are vangue and may include refusal to eat, lassitude, refusal to bear weight, and failure to thrive
DiagnosisRoutine tests are not helpful to diagnose malta fever or undulant fever.

Diagnosis is difficult as symptoms and signs are vague.

Thrombocytopenia, neutropenia, anemia, or pancytopenia may be found on CBC

Blood culture and bone marrow culture may detect the organism but may take 4 weeks for the results.

Automated culture and lysis centrifuge may reduce this time to less than 5 days.

Serum aglutination tests may detect IgM or IgG and help in diagnosis.
TreatmentAnti-microbial agents Doxycyclin and aminoglycoside combination is effective in treatment and preventing relapses.
Malta Fever

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