Swine brucellosis: current perspectives.
Brucella suis is a significant zoonotic species that is present in domestic livestock and wildlife in many countries worldwide. Transmission from animal reservoirs is the source of human infection as human-to-human transmission is very rare. Although swine brucellosis causes economic losses in domestic livestock, preventing human infection is the primary reason for its emphasis in disease control programs. Although disease prevalence varies worldwide, in areas outside of Europe, swine brucellosis is predominantly caused by B. suis biovars 1 and 3. In Europe, swine are predominantly infected with biovar 2 which is much less pathogenic in humans. In many areas worldwide, feral or wild populations of swine are important reservoir hosts. Like other Brucella spp. in their natural host, B. suis has developed mechanisms to survive in an intracellular environment and evade immune detection. Limitations in sensitivity and specificity of current diagnostics require use at a herd level, rather for individual animals. There is currently no commercial vaccine approved for preventing brucellosis in swine. Although not feasible in all situations, whole-herd depopulation is the most effective regulatory mechanism to control swine brucellosis.