Characterization of the caprine model for ruminant brucellosis

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The relationship between man, the goat, and brucellosis is historical. Today Brucella melitensis and Brucella abortus pose a serious economic and public health threat in many countries throughout the world. Infection of pregnant goats and sheep with B. melitensis results in abortion during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although nearly eradicated in the US, bovine brucellosis is still a problem in many countries and the potential for re-infection of domestic stock from wildlife reservoirs in this country is a regulatory nightmare. Humans infected with this pathogen develop undulant fever, which is characterized by pyrexia, arthritis, osteomyelitis, and spondylitis. Although available for both organisms, currently available vaccines have problems ranging from false positive serological reactions to limited efficacy in different animal species. With the continued need for new and better vaccines, we have further developed a goat model system to test new genetically derived strains of B. melitensis and B. abortus for virulence as measured by colonization of maternal and fetal tissues, vaccine safety, and vaccine efficacy. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Veterinary Microbiology

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