Current Tropical Medicine Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 164–172 | Cite as

Human Brucellosis and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes

  • Angela M. Arenas-Gamboa
  • Carlos A. Rossetti
  • Sankar P. Chaki
  • Daniel G. Garcia-Gonzalez
  • Leslie G. Adams
  • Thomas A. Ficht


Purpose of Review

Brucellosis is a neglected, zoonotic disease of nearly worldwide distribution. Despite brucellosis being recognized as a reproductive disease in animals, it has been historically known as a flu-like illness in humans with little or no significant role in maternal or newborn health. This review focuses on what is currently known relative to the epidemiology of brucellosis in human pregnancy as well as new insights of placental immunology.

Recent Findings

New evidence suggests that maternal infection poses a significant risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes including increased risk for miscarriage during the first and second trimester of gestation, preterm delivery, and vertical transmission to the fetus. Adverse pregnancy outcomes were not associated with any specific clinical sign. However, prompt diagnosis and treatment significantly decreased the risk of miscarriage or any other adverse effect.


Brucellosis during pregnancy should be considered a significant risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes in humans. The identification of the mechanism behind bacterial tropism should prove powerful for the development of new countermeasures to prevent these detrimental effects. Increased awareness concerning brucellosis in pregnant women, its transmission, and prevention measures should be considered as a pressing need.


Human Abortion Brucellosis Zoonosis Placenta 


Compliance with Ethical Standards


This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), International Research Scientist Development Award-IRSDA/K01 (grant number 1K01 TW009981-01).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela M. Arenas-Gamboa
    • 1
  • Carlos A. Rossetti
    • 2
  • Sankar P. Chaki
    • 1
  • Daniel G. Garcia-Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Leslie G. Adams
    • 1
  • Thomas A. Ficht
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical SciencesTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Instituto de Patobiología, CICVyA-CNIA, INTAHurlinghamArgentina

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