Brucellosis: A dairy farmer’s guide


Compiled by Dr Mark Chimes On behalf of Milk SA

Publication date


Brucellosis is highly contagious and occurs in all nine provinces of South Africa. The main source of infection is cattle. The main route of infection in humans is through the consumption of unpasteurised milk. Although the primary symptom noticed in dairy herds is abortion, brucellosis is NOT a venereal disease. Brucellosis is primarily transmitted through ingestion of the organism (oral route).

  1. How humans become infected
  2. How cows become infected
  3. Why all the fuss about Brucellosis?
    • Brucellosis in humans
    • Brucellosis in dairy cattle
  4. How Brucella spreads from one farm to another
    • Keep your herd clean and Vaccinate!
    • It is a herd disease!
  5. What happens if your herd tests positive for brucellosis?
    • Identifying positive animals
    • Testing
    • State Veterinarian’s role
  6. How to diagnose bovine brucellosis
    • Foetal specimens
    • Sampling
  7. Brucella abortus Characteristics
  8. Testimonies