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Brucellosis as Priority Public Health Challenge in South Eastern European Countries

Medicinska naklada; [email protected]
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  • Agricultural Science
  • Design
  • Economics
  • Medicine


Brucellosis is a global zoonosis that presents severe public health challenge and major economic burden, especially for the countries in the South Eastern Europe and the Med- iterranean. The incidence of brucellosis caused by Brucella melitensis is very high, primarily in sheep and goats. The World Health Organization (WHO) designated brucellosis as one of 7 neglected, under-detected, and underreported zoonotic diseases and it remains a major cause of morbid- ity throughout the world, with serious health implications, particularly for the poorest segment of the human popula- tion and in medically underserved regions (1,2). B. melitensis infection in livestock decreases productivity, mostly through increased number of abortions and weak offspring, decreased milk production, and loss of trade op- portunities. B. melitensis is very contagious for humans and the disease, if not treated promptly and effectively, can be- come chronic and affect multiple body systems, causing severe complications (3). Economic losses caused by the disease in humans are a consequence of long-term hospi- tal treatment, cost of drugs, and loss of work or income due to illness. Costs related to brucellosis are further increased by costly control and eradication programs: serology tests for animal check-ups, animal vaccine, and compensation to the farmers for slaughter of the infected animals (4,5). Regional conflicts and wars or reduced vigilance in con- trol programs, together with international travel and trade in agricultural products, have resulted in a resurgence and deterioration of the disease in some developing countries, including the countries formed after the breakup of Yugo- slavia (4,6,7). In 2009, the Government of Macedonia and the German Academic Exchange Service and ReplekPharm-Skopje sponsored the International MetaNET Project Thematic Sci- entific Conference Brucellosis in South Eastern Europe and Mediterranean Region, which was held in Struga, Republic of Macedonia, from 1

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