Brucellosis (Brucella spp.) | CDC

NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

Clinical Description

An illness characterized by acute or insidious onset of fever, night sweats, undue fatigue, anorexia, weight loss, headache, and arthralgia

Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis

  • Isolation of Brucella spp. from a clinical specimen, OR
  • Fourfold or greater rise in Brucella agglutination titer between acute- and convalescent-phase serum specimens obtained greater than or equal to 2 weeks apart and studied at the same laboratory, OR
  • Demonstration by immunofluorescence of Brucella spp. in a clinical specimen

Case Classification

Probable

A clinically compatible case that is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case or that has supportive serology (i.e., Brucella agglutination titer of greater than or equal to 160 in one or more serum specimens obtained after onset of symptoms)

Confirmed

A clinically compatible illness that is laboratory confirmed

Comments

The 1997 case definition appearing on this page was previously published in the 1990 MMWR Recommendations and Reports titled Case Definitions for Public Health Surveillance.1 Thus, the 1990 and 1997 versions of the case definition are identical

References(s)

1. CDC. (1990). Case Definitions for Public Health Surveillance. MMWR, 39(RR-13), 1-43. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00025629.htm

Related Case Definition(s)

Page last reviewed: April 16, 2021