Brucella melitensis

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Brucella melitensis
Phylum Proteobacteria
Class Alpha Proteobacteria
Order Rhizobiales
Family Brucellaceae
Genus Brucella
Species B.melitensis


A photomicrograph of the bacterium Brucella melitensis. (CDC 1979, Wikimedia commons)

Brucella melitensis is one of the bacterial organism responsible for Ovine Epididymitis, along with Brucella ovis.

Brucella melitensis however can also infect cattle, unlike Brucella ovis.

It is one of the Brucella genus of bacteria. There are three known biovars.

It is a gram negative coccobacillus that sometimes forms small groups in tissues.


Brucella melitensis can be transmitted by the stable fly.


Severe inflammation of the epididymis particularly the tail cause formation of spermatocoeles and fibrinous adhesions.


B. melitensis causes Ovine Brucellosis (Epididymitis). It can also cause epididymitis in cattle.

The disease is notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

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Brucella melitensis publications


Merck Veterinary Manual, Brucellosis in sheep, accessed online 06/06/2011 @


This article was originally sourced from The Animal Health & Production Compendium (AHPC) published online by CABI during the OVAL Project.

The datasheet was accessed on 2 June 2011.

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