ComplicationsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Brucellosis can affect almost any part of your body, including your reproductive system, liver, heart and central nervous system. Chronic brucellosis may cause complications in just one organ or throughout your body. Possible complications include:
- Infection of the heart's inner lining (endocarditis). This is one of the most serious complications of brucellosis. Untreated endocarditis can damage or destroy the heart valves and is the leading cause of brucellosis-related deaths.
- Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is marked by pain, stiffness and swelling in your joints, especially the knees, hips, ankles, wrists and spine. Spondylitis — inflammation of the joints between the bones (vertebrae) of your spine or between your spine and pelvis — can be particularly hard to treat and may cause lasting damage.
- Inflammation and infection of the testicles (epididymo-orchitis). The bacteria that cause brucellosis can infect the epididymis, the coiled tube that connects the vas deferens and the testicle. From there, the infection may spread to the testicle itself, causing swelling and pain, which may be severe. Brucellosis can also affect the prostate gland and kidneys.
- Central nervous system infections. These include potentially life-threatening illnesses such as meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, and encephalitis, inflammation of the brain itself.
- Brucellosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/brucellosis_g.htm. Accessed Sept. 20, 2010.
- Salata RA. Brucellosis. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/219300457-3/1055876208/1492/1162.html#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-2805-5..50336-0_14353. Accessed Sept. 20, 2010.
- Everett ED. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of brucellosis. http://uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 20, 2010.
- Cristofaro P, et al. Brucellosis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis & Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00011-1--sc0120&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&sid=1055876208&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00011-1--sc0120&uniqId=219300457-4#4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..00011-1--sc0120. Accessed Sept. 20, 2010.
- Dokuzoguz B, et al. Brucellosis. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy 2010. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/page.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00002-8--sc0030&isbn=978-1-4160-6642-2&sid=1055982062&type=bookPage§ionEid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00002-8--sc0030&uniqId=219300457-6#4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6642-2..00002-8--sc0030. Accessed Sept. 20, 2010.