Brucella canis: Introduction

spotlight topic:

1. Introduction

Published 5 July 2023 | Updated 2 November 2023


There have been a number of recent updates regarding the increasing serological diagnosis of Brucella canis and its public health implications.

The first is a review article, written by a group of authors, including those working for The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) as well as the European Union and national reference laboratories for Brucellosis.

Djokic, V. et al. (2023) The emergence of Brucella canis as a public health threat in Europe: what we know, and what we need to learn. Emerging Microbes & Infections, 12 (2), no.2249126.

We have provided a summary of this paper.

There have also been a number of updates from the UK Government including an update of Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance group (HAIRS) risk assessment for Brucella canis and updated versions of the APHA summary information sheet for veterinary staff and Frequently Asked Questions, which includes updated information on the interpretation of test results, including positive predictive values for a range of possible prevalence rates.

Brucella canis was first detected following an outbreak of abortion in a beagle colony in the United States in the 1960s. Since then, it has become widespread and has been reported in North, Central and South America, and parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. There have been recent reports of increasing case numbers in a number of countries, often associated with imported dogs.

The aim of this Spotlight feature is to bring together recently published literature and links to other resources which will provide veterinary professionals with up-to-date evidence on which to base their clinical decisions and advice.

Brucella canis has now been made a reportable disease in the UK, therefore we have included links to advise from the UK government, but we have also included links to resources from other countries that may have useful experience to share in dealing with this disease.

As with our other collections, papers are chosen for relevance and accessibility, with the full text of articles either being available through the RCVS Knowledge Library or from other publications to which a significant number of veterinary professionals are likely to have access.


Online full-text available to Library members

A range of library membership packages is available and MRCVS vets and RVNs can join the library for a heavily subsidised, annual fee.

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