Human Brucellosis and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes.
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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Brucellosis is a neglected, zoonotic disease of nearly worldwide distribution. Despite brucellosis being recognized as a reproductive disease in animals, it has been historically known as a flu-like illness in humans with little or no significant role in maternal or newborn health. This review focuses on what is currently known relative to the epidemiology of brucellosis in human pregnancy as well as new insights of placental immunology. RECENT FINDINGS: New evidence suggests that maternal infection poses a significant risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes including increased risk for miscarriage during the first and second trimester of gestation, preterm delivery, and vertical transmission to the fetus. Adverse pregnancy outcomes were not associated with any specific clinical sign. However, prompt diagnosis and treatment significantly decreased the risk of miscarriage or any other adverse effect. SUMMARY: Brucellosis during pregnancy should be considered a significant risk factor for adverse pregnancy outcomes in humans. The identification of the mechanism behind bacterial tropism should prove powerful for the development of new countermeasures to prevent these detrimental effects. Increased awareness concerning brucellosis in pregnant women, its transmission, and prevention measures should be considered as a pressing need.