Human brucellosis in South Africa: Public health and diagnostic pitfalls
Human brucellosis in South Africa (SA) is under-diagnosed and under-reported. This is because many clinicians have little or no experience in managing affected patients, and in part because of the nonspecific and insidious nature of the disease. A case of human brucellosis caused by Brucella melitensis in a patient from the Western Cape Province of SA is described, and the resulting exposure of staff members at two medical microbiology laboratories, as well as the public health investigation that was conducted, are discussed. The objective of this article is to highlight the need for strengthening integration between public health, medical and veterinary services and exposing deficiencies in public health, veterinary and laboratory practices.