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Brucella Species, Symptoms And Treatment Of Brucellosis, PreventionCharacteristics of Brucella

Brucellosis is a disease caused by bacteria in the genus Brucella. The disease infects animals such as swine, cattle, and sheep; humans can become infected indirectly through contact with infected animals or by drinking Brucella-contaminated milk. In the United States, most domestic animals are vaccinated against the bacteria, but brucellosis remains a risk with imported animal products.

Brucella are rod-shaped bacteria that lack a capsule around their cell membranes. Unlike most bacteria, Brucella cause infection by actually entering host cells. As the bacteria cross the host cell membrane, they are engulfed by host cell vacuoles called phagosomes. The presence of Brucella within host cell phagosomes initiates a characteristic immune response, in which infected cells begin to stick together and form aggregations called granulomas.

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