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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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August 2012
S. Ben Shimol, L. Dukhan, I. Belmaker, S. Bardenstein, D. Sibirsky, C. Barrett and D. Greenberg

Background: Human brucellosis is common in southern Israel among the semi-nomadic Bedouin, a population that consumes unpasteurized dairy products. Though camel milk ingestion is a known mechanism for brucellosis acquisition, only a few reports of sporadic cases have been published in the medical literature.

Objectives: To describe a local brucellosis outbreak in 15 extended Bedouin family members, following ingestion of infected camel milk.

Methods: Data regarding patient’s clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, treatment and outcome were collected from the hospital and the health fund clinics’ computerized database. Camel’s blood and milk were tested for Brucella serology and culture. Cases were defined by positive Rose Bengal test, symptoms correlating with brucellosis, and consumption of infected camel milk.

Results: Fifteen patients were diagnosed with acute brucellosis from March to June 2011. Sixty percent of cases had serum agglutination test titers of 1:160 or higher and 4/8 (50%) had positive blood culture for Brucella melitensis. Arthralgia and fever were the most consistent clinical manifestations. Blood and milk serology and milk culture taken from the female camel were positive for Brucella melitensis.

Conclusions: The treating physicians must consider the possibility of infected camel milk ingestion as the mode of infection, both in sporadic cases and in outbreaks of brucellosis.

September 2008
January 2004
I. Belmaker, M. Alkan, A. Barnea, L. Dukhan, S. Yitzhaki and E. Gross

Background: Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that occurs worldwide, found predominantly in agricultural workers, port workers and dairy workers.

Objective: To investigate the risk of disease transmission to dairy workers following an outbreak in 1999 of Leptospirosis hardjo in the dairy herds of two kibbutzim in southern Israel.

Methods:  A seroepidemiologic survey of all the dairy workers from these two kibbutzim was conducted, including individual interview and examination. Data were collected on the presence of clinical symptoms of leptospirosis during the previous month. One month later the medical personnel on the two kibbutzim were contacted in order to determine if any worker had subsequently developed clinical signs or symptoms of leptospirosis. All dairy workers had blood drawn for serology. Those workers whose initial serology had been borderline for leptospirosis had a repeated serology test between 2 and 4 weeks later. Doxycycline was given prophylactically to all dairy workers on one kibbutz only.

Results:  Either with or without chemoprophylaxis, no dairy workers exposed to herds infected with Leptospira hardjo showed evidence of seroconversion or disease. This indicated a low risk of transmission of this serovar from cows to dairy workers.

Conclusion: Since human illness with leptospirae can cause illness associated with significant morbidity we recommend that dairy workers exposed to an infected herd receive doxycycline prophylaxis.

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