Zoonotic Diseases

Diseases discussed here have a history of use as an agent for biological warfare, either in the U.S. or abroad. Its use may have been experimental or actual, and any detrimental consequences upon humans, animals or the environment may have been intentional or not, depending on the circumstances, the point in time, and the nature of the disease.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


US Manufactured as a bioweapon in 1950's; http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/intro/bio_brucellosis.htm

A ProMED-mail post

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International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 5 Aug 2010
Source: Fiji Times [edited]

Farms face clean out
Two farms where cattle have contracted
brucellosis will be "cleaned out" by the Ministry
of Agriculture, says the ministry's Permanent Secretary Colonel Mason Smith.

He said they were looking at what was needed to
be done at the farms. Dairy farmer Kashmir Singh
said a farm in Wainivesi and Waimaro district
would be cleaned out by the ministry officers
because they had infected cattle.

"We are aware that the cleaning out will be
conducted soon but we are not aware of what these
processes will include," he said. He said the
farmers had been briefed on the latest results of
tests last month. Mr Singh said they asked the
ministry officers to conduct tests on their
cattle every 3 months so they were always sure their cattle were not infected.

Last week, Colonel Smith said 7 farms which had
been quarantined for brucellosis were informed of
the latest test results received from Australia.
He said the farmers concerned had been notified.

[Byline: Reijeli Kikau]

Communicated by:

Date: 5 Aug 2010
Source: Fiji Times [edited]

Human death denial
There has never been any report of humans dying
after being infected with brucellosis in Fiji,
according to Ministry of Agriculture Permanent
Secretary Colonel Mason Smith. He was reacting to
reports made by one media organisation that some
people were dying due to being in contact with
and looking after livestock infected with brucellosis.

"What we know and understand that cows have been
infected and have died from brucellosis," Col
Smith said. Col Smith said one of his senior
staff said comments conducted in Fijian were
misinterpreted by the media organisation when translating it for news.

Earlier last week, Col Mason Smith said 7 farms
which were quarantined for brucellosis had been
informed of the latest test results received from
Australia. He said the 7 farms were still being
quarantined but this would be reviewed after they
received the results from Australia.

Col Smith said the farms that were not being
quarantined by their officers had been given "the
green light" to continue with their daily work.
He said this also included selling their cattle to other farms or customers.

[Byline: Reijeli Kikau]

Communicated by:

[These articles do not say if these are dairy
cattle, but it is strongly likely they are dairy operations.

Dairy cattle infected with brucellosis can
transmit the disease to humans through the
consumption of raw or unpasteurized milk.

The disease in cattle, water buffalo, and bison
is caused almost exclusively by _Brucella
abortus_ ; however, _B suis_ or _B melitensis_ is
occasionally implicated in some cattle herds. B
suis does not appear to be contagious from cow to
cow. Infection spreads rapidly and causes many
abortions in unvaccinated cattle. In a herd in
which disease is endemic, an infected cow
typically aborts only once after exposure;
subsequent gestations and lactations appear normal.

After exposure, cattle become bacteremic for a
short period and develop agglutinins and other
antibodies; some resist infection and a small
percentage of infected cows recover. A positive
serum agglutination test usually precedes an
abortion or a normal parturition but may be
delayed in approximately 15 percent of cows. The
incubation period may be variable and is
inversely related to stage of gestation at time
of exposure. Organisms are shed in milk and
uterine discharges, and the cow may become temporarily infertile.

Bacteria may be found in the uterus during
pregnancy, uterine involution, and infrequently,
for a prolonged time in the nongravid uterus.
Shedding from the vagina largely disappears with
the decrease of fluids following parturition.
Some infected cows that previously aborted shed
brucellae from the uterus at subsequent normal
parturitions. Organisms are shed in milk for a
variable length of time擁n most cattle for life.

Natural transmission occurs by ingestion of
organisms, which are present in large numbers in
aborted fetuses, fetal membranes, and uterine
discharges. Cattle may ingest contaminated feed
and water, or lick contaminated genitals of other
animals. Venereal transmission by infected bulls
to susceptible cows appears to be rare.
Transmission may occur by artificial insemination
when Brucella -contaminated semen is deposited in
the uterus but, reportedly, not when deposited in
the midcervix. _Brucellae_ may enter the body
through mucous membranes, conjunctivae, wounds, or intact skin.

_Brucellae_ have been recovered from fetuses and
from manure that has remained in a cool
environment for greater than 2 months. Exposure
to direct sunlight kills the organisms within a few hours.

Efforts are directed at detection and prevention
because no practical treatment is available.
Eventual eradication depends on testing and
eliminating reactors. The disease has been
eradicated from many individual herds and areas
by this method. Herds must be tested at regular
intervals until 2 or 3 successive tests are negative.

Because organisms are shed in the milk,
unpasteurized milk, and cheese represent a human
health concern. Many individuals believe drinking
unpasteurized milk is better for their health.
Diseases that are not killed by pasteurization
represent a risk to the consumer. Brucellosis in
humans (undulant fever, Malta fever) causes
malaise, fever, chills, sweats, headache, neck
pain, low back pain, joint pain, muscle pain,
occasionally diarrhea, constipation, anorexia,
weight loss, abdominal pain, weakness,
irritability, insomnia, and depression.
Brucellosis has been called undulant fever
because of its habit of producing fever and signs
that wax and wane over an extended period of time.

Portions of this comment have been extracted from

and from
- Mod.TG]

[see also:
Brucellosis, caprine, human - Malaysia: (PG) RFI 20100725.2492
Brucellosis, livestock, human - Kazakhstan: (AM) 20100707.2263
Brucellosis, bovine - UK: (Northern Ireland) 20100613.1979
Brucellosis, bovine - Canada (02): (BC), clarification 20100528.1781
Brucellosis, bovine - Canada: (BC) 20100528.1769
Brucellosis, cervid - USA (05): Yellowstone 20100427.1352
Brucellosis, cervid - USA (04): Yellowstone 20100425.1340
Brucellosis, ovine - Croatia: (SD) OIE 20100418.1258]

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