Contact: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale”
P8-07 Brucella canis in Great Britain: Cases, Case Definitions, Management and Control


Brucella canis



Canine brucellosis is commonly characterised by reproductive disturbances and discospondylitis in dogs. It is mainly caused by Brucella canis (B. canis), a zoonotic bacteria which is primarily transmitted through sexual contact between dogs and contact with infectious abortion material. Contact with other fluids have also been reported to transmit the bacteria, however, these are less infectious. Prior to 2017 no cases of canine brucellosis had been bacteriologically confirmed in Great Britain (GB) and serological evidence of infection was also exceptionally rare. In 2017 B. canis was isolated from two dogs (separate cases) imported from Eastern Europe, followed by a third bacteriologically confirmed case in 2018 and then a fourth larger case in 2020, also bacteriologically confirmed. Between January 2020-April 2022 there have been 58 cases in GB as determined primarily based on serology and epidemiology. Investigations have resulted in the testing of 171 dogs and 100 of these were serologically positive and, in combination with the epidemiological information, considered infected. Twelve were confirmed positive by bacteriology. Cases have been associated with dogs that have originated from Romania, Macedonia, Bosnia, Hungary, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Greece. GB have adopted a risk-based approach to determine the qualitative probability that a dog is infected and the likelihood of onward transmission of infection. The assigned probability alongside individual factors and wider implications informs the level of investigation required and the approach to controlling the spread of disease. To aid detection of cases in GB, from February 2021 positive tests for B. canis were made officially Reportable. So far, no domestic onward transmission of B. canis has been observed in GB dogs apart from one case in 2020 and one case in 2022. There is one confirmed case of human brucellosisdue to infection with B. canis (at the time of writing). Teams at the Animal and Plant Health Agency continue to work closely with colleagues from GB Public Health Agencies and specialist clinicians from the Brucella Reference Unit at Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen Hospital to control the disease and protect human and animal health.