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Brucellosis in Household Members of Brucella Patients Residing in a Large Urban Setting in Peru

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  • 1 Hospital Nacional Daniel Alcides Carrión, Callao, Peru; Asociación Benéfica Proyectos en Informática, Salud, Medicina y Agricultura (A.B. PRISMA), Lima, Peru; Department of Internal Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Department of Neurology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota; KIT Biomedical Research, Royal Tropical Institute/Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (KIT), Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Departments of Microbiology and Pathology, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; US Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Lima, Peru
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During home visits and using a point-of-care test for brucellosis, we screened the household members of adult patients found to have brucellosis by investigation at the Hospital Nacional Daniel Alcides Carrión in Callao, Peru. A total of 206 household members of 43 patients were screened, and 15 (7.3%) household members in 10 (23.3%) households tested seropositive. Brucellosis was diagnosed in 14 of them, all but 4 presenting with acute or subacute uncomplicated disease. Regardless of attempts to control brucellosis in Peru, the disease continues to be reasonably common among household members of brucellosis patients. Household members presumably remain the single most important identifiable risk group in an urban setting, and screening them provides an effective means for their early diagnosis. Although contact with livestock was rare, the consumption of unpasteurized dairy products was reported by almost all patients with brucellosis, their household members, and hospitalized non-brucellosis patients.

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