Canine brucellosis policy adopted

Published on December 31, 2012
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The AVMA has adopted the following policy on canine brucellosis:
Canine Brucellosis
Brucella canis infection is a common disease of canines and is a major cause of reproductive failure. Although B canis infections are relatively uncommon in humans, many documented cases have been reported in the literature and this disease is likely underreported in humans. Diagnosis of B canis infection in dogs can be somewhat difficult because of occasional lack of bacteremia in chronically infected dogs and the imperfect nature of serologic and molecular diagnostic tools in diagnosis.
The American Veterinary Medical Association supports the sustained commitment of all responsible state and federal agencies to continue appropriate and timely actions to eliminate brucellosis in all susceptible domestic and wild animal populations. Continued support for disease control efforts, including detection, control, and sustainable funding for surveillance activities toward the ultimate elimination of brucellosis should remain a national priority for the protection of human and animal health.

Brucellosis Research Priorities

Development of laboratory standards and improved diagnostic tests, validated for the target species.
Studies to further clarify the epizootiology of canine brucellosis, including disease pathogenesis and transmission parameters. These factors, once determined, may be exploited for control and elimination of the disease in susceptible populations.

Population Disease Management

The AVMA urges state and federal agencies to work together to develop a disease management plan, including control of the inter- and intrastate spread of B canis and eliminate brucellosis from the canine population.
The AVMA urges the USDA to establish and maintain a comprehensive nationwide surveillance program to support the eradication of all brucellosis from the United States.
The policy approved by the AVMA Executive Board was developed by the Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine with the support of the Council on Veterinary Service.
In its recommendation to the board, the CPHRVM stated that the issues related to canine brucellosis are unique and specific and are not necessarily the same as those addressed in the existing AVMA “Brucellosis Policy.” Therefore, the council saw a need for a separate policy specifically addressing B canis. The policy is intended to encourage the scientific community to develop validated tests specific to this disease.