Brucellosis, caused by the bacterium genus Brucella, is the world’s most widespread zoonosis but ranks as one of the seven most neglected diseases, according to the orld Health Organization (WHO). There are approximately 500,000 reported incident cases of human brucellosis annually, however, the true incidence is estimated at 5,000,000 to 12,500,000 cases annually. Brucellosis is also recognized as the world’s most common laboratory acquired infection. This is attributed to the low infectious dose, estimated between 10-100 bacterial cells by aerosol or subcutaneous route. Globally, B. abortus, B. melitensis and B. suis are leading causes of animal and human brucellosis infections in the developing world. However, with the recent identification of novel strains of Brucellae, the full picture of animal and human health is still unknown. The geographical distribution of brucellosis is changing with new emerging and re-emerging infections. Additionally, brucellosis has been reported to accelerate the progression of HIV to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Consistent case-reports of animal and human brucellosis originate from all continents with the exception of Antarctica, which has only animal cases.
The I.D.E.A. Lab’s long-term research goal is to develop or improve diagnostics for diseases that do not have a true gold-standard.