Trends in the epidemiology of brucellosis in Northern Greece 1994–2003

Abstract number: 1134_01_182

Kamaria F, Iliadou P., Sidiropoulou M., Chrisagis D., Vasiliadou E., Kolokotroni D., Kansouzidou A.


In 1994, the vaccination control programme with Rev-1 vaccine against Brucella melitensis infection in sheep and goats, was discontinued in Greece. Soon, the incidence of brucellosis in animals and humans increased. Thus, in 1998 an emergency mass-vaccination programme for animals with the same vaccine was resumed. The aim of this study is to present and analyse the cases of brucellosis attended to the adult Department of Thessaloniki Infectious Diseases Hospital during 1994–2003. Our hospital attends patients from all Northern Greece.


We reviewed retrospectively the brucellosis unit archives of our Department and found the patients attended as outpatients during this period, including the hospitalized ones after their dismissal. Sex, age, year of first diagnosis, mode of infection and outcome of disease were included in the study.


947 patients were identified, 684 males, 263 females, from 14 to 83 years old, mean age (x ± SD) 43 ± 16 years. Between 1994–1998, 258 cases were identified, 27% of the sum of study patients. Between 1998–2000 there was an increase in the number of cases, 411 cases, 43% of the sum. The increase was significant (p < 0.001). Between 2001–2003 a decrease in the number of cases was observed, 277 cases, 30% of the sum, p < 0.001. The possible source of infection was identified in 660 cases. 499 patients (75%) had direct contact with animals (398 were farmers, 28 veterinarians and 73 had other occupational exposure) and 161 (25%) patients had reported consumption of unpasteurized dairy products. Concerning the complications, 112 patients (12%) had a focal or complicated illness. Osteoarticular complications were the most frequent focal forms (50 patients had spondylitis, 14 sacroiliitis and 13 other forms of arthritis). 21 males (3% of all males) had orchiepididymitis. 10 patients (1%) had neurobrucellosis and 4 (0.4%) patients had endocarditis.


A significant increase of human brucellosis took place in Greece from 1998 to 2000 due to the discontinuation of animal vaccination. Once a new vaccination campaign had started again, the incidence in humans decreased. Furthermore, the main way of brucellosis transmission is occupational contact and the most common type of complication is osteoarticular

Session Details

Date: 01/08/2007
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: XXIst ISTH Congress
Location: Oxford, UK
Presentation type:
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