How Themistocles Zammit found Malta Fever (brucellosis) to be transmitted by the milk of goats

Article (PDF Available)inJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine 98(10):451-4 · November 2005with38 Reads
DOI: 10.1258/jrsm.98.10.451 · Source: PubMed

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Available from: Harold V Wyatt
    • "It was believed that goats were not the source of infection since they did not become ill when inoculated with Brucella cultures. The discovery that healthy goats could be carriers of the disease has been termed one of the greatest advances ever made in the study of epidemiology [2,3]. Brucellosis is caused by Gram-negative coccobacilli of the genus Brucella [4,5]. "
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
    • "Over the years, very few studies have been conducted on microorganisms growing in the Maltese islands, and these have rarely resulted in the description of new genera , species or serovars. Two important exceptions are the studies on Brucella melitensis, by Sir Temi Zammit in 1905 (Wyatt, 2005) and a new serovar of Salmonella from Gozo (Vella & Cuschieri, 1995). Ten years ago, sampling of microorganisms growing as biofilms on different substrates around the Maltese islands was initiated. "
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Frontiers in Microbiology
    • "As in other infectious disease, lower genetic diversity and crowded effect may favor transmission and select for faster replicating organisms with major zoonotic potential (McDaniel et al., 2013). Examples of these were observed in the early days of brucellosis in Malta (Wyatt, 2005Wyatt, , 2009a), and more recently in foodborne outbreaks in Peru (Román et al., 2013) and massive outbreaks in Inner Mongolia, threatening hundreds of thousands of people. Inner Mongolia, which keeps the largest sheep population (18.2% of the flock), also ranks first in animal and human brucellosis in China (Pu et al., 2009; Mi et al., 2010; Zhang et al., 2010ing to various models, this may be just the " tip of the iceberg " and it is expected that the number of human cases will increase dramatically in the following years (Hou et al., 2013). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the genus Brucella are pathogenic bacteria exceedingly well adapted to their hosts. The bacterium is transmitted by direct contact within the same host species or accidentally to secondary hosts, such as humans. Human brucellosis is strongly linked to the management of domesticated animals and ingestion of their products. Since the domestication of ungulates and dogs in the Fertile Crescent and Asia in 12000 and 33000 ya, respectively, a steady supply of well adapted emergent Brucella pathogens causing zoonotic disease has been provided. Likewise, anthropogenic modification of wild life may have also impacted host susceptibility and Brucella selection. Domestication and human influence on wild life animals are not neutral phenomena. Consequently, Brucella organisms have followed their hosts' fate and have been selected under conditions that favor high transmission rate. The "arm race" between Brucella and their preferred hosts has been driven by genetic adaptation of the bacterium confronted with the evolving immune defenses of the host. Management conditions, such as clustering, selection, culling, and vaccination of Brucella preferred hosts have profound influences in the outcome of brucellosis and in the selection of Brucella organisms. Countries that have controlled brucellosis systematically used reliable smooth live vaccines, consistent immunization protocols, adequate diagnostic tests, broad vaccination coverage and sustained removal of the infected animals. To ignore and misuse tools and strategies already available for the control of brucellosis may promote the emergence of new Brucella variants. The unrestricted use of low-efficacy vaccines may promote a "false sense of security" and works towards selection of Brucella with higher virulence and transmission potential.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014
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