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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Mar;88(3):552-8. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0606. Epub 2013 Feb 4.

A foodborne outbreak of brucellosis at a police station cafeteria, Lima, Peru.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, and Laboratory of Research and Development, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú. karitaroman@gmail.com


Brucella melitensis is highly infectious for humans and can be transmitted to humans in a number of epidemiological contexts. Within the context of an ongoing brucellosis surveillance project, an outbreak at a Peruvian police officer cafeteria was discovered, which led to active surveillance (serology, blood culture) for additional cases among 49 police officers who had also eaten there. The cohort was followed up to 18 months regardless of treatment or symptoms. Active surveillance estimated the attack rate at 26.5% (13 of 49). Blood cultures from four cases were positive; these isolates were indistinguishable using multiple locus variable number tandem repeat analysis. This investigation indicates the importance of case tracking and active surveillance for brucellosis in the context of potential common source exposure. These results provide rationale for public health investigations of brucellosis index cases including the bioterrorism-related dissemination of Brucella.

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