Brucellosis outbreak in children and adults in two areas in Israel

Orli Megged, Bibiana Chazan, Atef Ganem, Abeer Ayoub, Anna Yanovskay, Waheeb Sakran, Dan Miron, Ahuva Dror-Cohen, Yoram Kennes, Svetlana Berdenstein, Daniel Glikman

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12 Scopus citations


Two parallel outbreaks of Brucella melitensis infection occurred in 2014 in two geographical areas in Israel. In two medical centers in northern Israel and one medical center in Jerusalem, 102 patients (58 children, 47 adults) were diagnosed with brucellosis. Most patients (N = 76, 72%) were Muslim Arabs, 28 (27%) were Druze, and one was Jewish. The source of infection was often traced to cheese from the Palestinian Authority. Biovar-1 was evident in 98% in northern Israel but only in 42% in Jerusalem. Most common manifestations were fever (82%) and osteoarticular symptoms (49%). The major differences between the geographic areas were ethnicity and duration until diagnosis. Compared with adults, children had higher rates of hospitalization (93% versus 64%, P = 0.001), osteoarticular symptoms (60% versus 36%, P = 0.05), elevated alanine aminotransferase (12% versus 0%, P = 0.01), and lower C-reactive protein (2.28 ± 2.08 versus 5.57 ± 6.31 mg/dL, P = 0.001). Two unrelated brucellosis outbreaks occurred in 2014 in two different geographic areas of Israel and were limited to sections of the Arab and Druze populations. Most of the demographic and clinical aspects of patients were not affected by geographic variability. Clinical and laboratory differences were found between children and adults emphasizing the nonuniformity of the disease in different age groups. Effective control of unpasteurized dairy foods, health education programs, and improved regional cooperation are required to control brucellosis in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-34
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2016

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© Copyright 2016 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.


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