Epidemiological and Clinical Features of Brucellosis in the Country of Georgia.

PloS one

PubMedID: 28107444

Akhvlediani T, Bautista CT, Garuchava N, Sanodze L, Kokaia N, Malania L, Chitadze N, Sidamonidze K, Rivard RG, Hepburn MJ, Nikolich MP, Imnadze P, Trapaidze N. Epidemiological and Clinical Features of Brucellosis in the Country of Georgia. PLoS ONE. 2017;12(1):e0170376.
BACKGROUND
Brucellosis is an endemic disease in the country of Georgia. According to the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health of Georgia (NCDC), the average annual number of brucellosis cases was 161 during 2008-2012. However, the true number of cases is thought to be higher due to underreporting. The aim of this study was to provide current epidemiological and clinical information and evaluate diagnostic methods used for brucellosis in Georgia.

METHODOLOGY
Adult patients were eligible for participation if they met the suspected or probable case definition for brucellosis. After consent participants were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire to collect information on socio-demographic characteristics, epidemiology, history of present illness, and clinical manifestation. For the diagnosis of brucellosis, culture and serological tests were used.

RESULTS
A total of 81 participants were enrolled, of which 70 (86%) were from rural areas. Seventy-four percent of participants reported consuming unpasteurized milk products and 62% consuming undercooked meat products before symptom onset. Forty-one participants were positive by the Wright test and 33 (41%) were positive by blood culture. There was perfect agreement between the Huddelston and Wright tests (k = 1.0). Compared with blood culture (the diagnostic gold standard), ELISA IgG and total ELISA (IgG + IgM), the Wright test had fair (k = 0.12), fair (k = 0.24), and moderate (k = 0.52) agreement, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS
Consumption of unpasteurized milk products and undercooked meat were among the most common risk factors in brucellosis cases. We found poor agreement between ELISA tests and culture results. This report also serves as an initial indication that the suspected case definition for brucellosis surveillance purposes needs revision. Further research is needed to characterize the epidemiology and evaluate the performance of the diagnostic methods for brucellosis in Georgia.