Relationship between Asymtomatic Brucella Infection and Spontaneous Abortion

Document Type : Original Article



Introduction: Brucella infection in animals has got documented association with high incidence of abortion, but in human there are controversies about the role of brucellosis in spontaneous abortion. Since brucellosis is endemic in Iran and is a disease that can be diagnosed and treated and many causes of abortion are undiagnosed, this study was designed to evaluate probable association between maternal brucella infection and spontaneous abortion.
Materials and Methods: This clinical-trial study was done in the year 2006 at Amir-al Momenin Hospital of Semnan University of Medical Sciences. 81 women with spontaneous abortion were considered as case and 103 women with normal pregnancy outcome as control group. Previous pregnancy rates, previous abortion rates, and pregnancy age were similar in both groups. Two milliliter blood samples obtained from each one and IgG and IgM antibody measured by ELISA method in both groups. IgG or IgM equal or greater than ten considered positive. Individual, pregnancy age, fresh cheese and milk consumption, blood examination tests were gathered in a questionnaire and analyzed by descriptive statistics and statistical tests with significance of 5%.
Results: Both groups were matched based on age, number of previous pregnancies and abortion, pregnancy age and consumption of fresh cheese. 6.2% of cases and 13.6% of control group had positive IgG titer (IgG≥ 10 units). In both groups IgM was negative (IgM<10 units). There was no significant relationship between brucella antibody and spontaneous abortion. There was significant relationship between raw milk consumption and spontaneous abortion (OR=6.31).
Conclusion: This study showed that asymptomatic brucella infection has no role in spontaneous abortion.


1. Griebel CP, Halvorsen J, Golemon TB, Day AA. Management of spontaneous abortion. Am
Fam Physician 2005 Oct; 72:1243-50
2. Speroff L, Glass R, Kase N. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, 7th ed.,
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2005.1090-93.
3. Decherng A, Nathon L, Bovon S. Current Obstetric and gyne cologic, 9thed. New York:
McGrow-Hill; 2003.193,272-277.
4. Mandell G, Benett J, Doline R. Principle and practice of infectious disease, 6th ed. Philadelphia:
Churchill Livingtone; 2005: 2669-74.
5. Drazen J, Gill G, Griggs R. Cecil Textbook of Medicine, 21th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Sauders
company; 2004.1887-90.
7. Osoba AO, Balkhy H, Memish Z, Khan MY, Al-Thagafi A, Al Shareef B, et al. Diagnostic
value of brucella ELISA IgG and IgM in bacteremic and Non-bacteremic Patients with
Brucellosis. J Chemother 2001; 13 Suppl 1:54-9
8. Gottuzzo E,Carrillo C. Gorbach infectious diseases, 2th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders
Company; 1998. 1840-41.
9. Fernihough TJ,Munoz WP, M ahadeyo I. The role of Brucella abortus in spontaneous abortion
among the black population. S Afr Med J 1985;68(5):379-80.
10. Makhseed M,Harouny A,Araj G.Obstetric and Gynecologic implication of brucellosis in kuwait.
J Perinatol 1998. 18(3):196-6.
11. Khan MY, Mab MW, Memish ZA. Brucellosis in pregrant women. Clin Ifect Disease 2001.
12. Sharif A,Reyes Z,Thomassen P.Screening for brucellosis in pregnant women. Jtrop Med Hyg
1990. 93(1) 42-30.
13. Panjarathinam R.Anti-brucella agglutinins in aborted women .J Gynecol obstet Biol Reprod.
1984. 13 (4):433-6.