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Abstract zur Publikation: Changing epidemiology of human brucellosis, Germany, 1962-2005

Al Dahouk S, Neubauer H, Hensel A, Schöneberg I, Nöckler K, Alpers K, Merzenich H, Stark K, Jansen A (2007): Changing epidemiology of human brucellosis, Germany, 1962-2005
Emerg. Infect. Dis. 13 (12): 1895-1900.

Trends in the epidemiology of human brucellosis in Germany were investigated by analyzing national surveillance data (1962–2005) complemented by a questionnaire-based survey (1995–2000). After a steady decrease in brucellosis incidence from 1962 to the 1980s, a persistent number of cases has been reported in recent years, with the highest incidence in Turkish immigrants (0.3/100,000 Turks vs. 0.01/100,000 in the German population; incidence rate ratio 29). Among cases with reported exposure risks, 59% were related to the consumption of unpasteurized cheese from brucellosis-endemic countries. The mean diagnostic delay was 2.5 months. Case fatality rates increased from 0.4% (1978–1981) to a maximum of 6.5% (1998–2001). The epidemiology of brucellosis in Germany has evolved from an endemic occupational disease among the German population into a travel-associated foodborne zoonosis, primarily affecting Turkish immigrants. Prolonged diagnostic delays and high case fatality call for targeted public health measures.

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