Brucella melitensis Infection Following Military Duty in Iraq
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Brucellosis is a common zoonotic disease worldwide; however, few cases are reported in the US. Brucella melitensis infections are primarily acquired via consumption of high-risk foods or travel to endemic areas. We describe a case of B. melitensis infection in a Tennessee soldier following deployment in Iraq. Initial symptoms included knee and back pain. Culture of an aspirate of the left sacroiliac joint yielded B. melitensis. Genetic analysis indicated that this isolate came from the Middle East. Investigation of laboratory workers identified risky exposures and positive serology prompting post-exposure prophylaxis. Military personnel and other travellers should be advised to reduce risk regarding food consumption and animal contact in endemic areas. Additionally, medical providers should remain vigilant for non-endemic zoonoses among recent travellers.
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