NC_017248:953131 Brucella melitensis NI chromosome chromosome I, complete sequence
Host Lineage: Brucella melitensis; Brucella; Brucellaceae; Rhizobiales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria
General Information: They are highly infectious, and can be spread through contact with infected animal products or through the air, making them a potential bioterrorism agent. Once the organism has entered the body, it can become intracellular, and enter the blood and lymphatic regions, multiplying inside phagocytes before eventually causing bacteremia (spread of bacteria through the blood). Virulence may depend on a type IV secretion system which may promote intracellular growth by secreting important effector molecules. This organism is a facultative intracellular bacteria that causes abortion in wild and domestic animals, usually goats or sheep, and undulant fever in humans. Brucellosis is a major health problem in the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where it causes severe economic losses. The disease is transmitted to humans by nonpasteurized milk and milk products or by direct contact with infected animals or carcasses.