Brucellosis in a water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) herd in Balikesir province of Turkey: a bacteriological and pathological investigation
Brucellosis, caused by a facultative intracellular bacterium, induces great economic loss in the livestock economy
worldwide. In this study, the abortion problem in an Anatolian water buffalo herd was investigated by pathological,
bacteriological and serological means. An aborted fetus as well as blood and milk samples from 4 buffalo cows with
abortion history were studied. The thoracic and abdominal cavities of the aborted fetus were filled with
serohemorrhagic fluid, and abomasum had yellowish brown fluid containing fibrous material in it. Bronchointerstitial
pneumonia was recognized in the lung tissues. Brucella (B.) abortus biotype 3 was isolated from the aborted fetus. Blood
samples collected from the water buffalo cows with a known history of abortion were found to be positive for
brucellosis by the Rose Bengal Plate test and a serum agglutination test. Three out of 4 animals were also positive
according to a Milk Ring Test. The isolated B. abortus biotype 3 was found to be highly resistant to the tested antibiotics.
This investigation is the first study reporting brucellosis by pathological, bacteriological and serological means in
Anatolian water buffalo in Turkey. Since brucellosis is an important zoonotic disease it is required that precautions
must be taken when handling and consuming milk products of water buffaloes.