Brucellosis, also known as “undulant fever,” is caused by Brucella bacteria.
What is Brucella?
Brucella is bacteria found in cows, dogs, goats, sheep, camels, pigs, and it can spread from infected animals to humans.
Patients who are infected with Brucella do not usually consider undergoing a qualitative PCR test as the symptoms are mild and similar to that of the flu. Brucellosis is usually marked by fever, chills, sweats, aches, joint and back pain, and fatigue. It may also cause severe complications such as central nervous system abnormalities, cardiac murmur, pneumonia, arthritis if there is a delay in diagnosis.
There is an effective treatment available once Brucella DNA fragments are detected.
Why is the qualitative PCR Test suggested to detect Brucella DNA?
Qualitative PCR, or polymerase chain reaction, is a blood test that detects the presence of Brucella bacteria in a patient.
- It provides results in a very short time.
- It is more practical, sensitive, and specific than conventional methods.
Qualitative PCR technology is also useful to check whether there is a significant reduction in Brucella DNA post-treatment; and early detection of relapses.
How is the qualitative PCR test performed?
Qualitative PCR test amplifies the DNA fragments located in the blood, to determine the presence of Brucella.
- The first step is the extraction of Brucella DNA from the whole blood of the infected patient.
- There is a significant increase in PCR sensitivity if the blood is washed a few times to remove the hemoglobin before extracting the DNA.
- Once the DNA fragments are amplified, they are compared with the known nucleotide segments.
Qualitative PCR technique is based on the understanding that Brucella, like every bacterium, contains DNA sequences that are unique to particular species.
What are the parameters measured in qualitative PCR test?
Qualitative PCR method confirms whether the patient’s blood sample is positive or negative for Brucella DNA.
Preparation before performing qualitative PCR Test
No special preparation is required before performing the qualitative PCR Test.
Post-care after qualitative PCR test shows negative Brucella DNA
There are chances of relapse following treatment; in most cases, within six months. Prevention is the best way to avoid getting infected again.
- Antibiotics must be taken for several weeks to prevent relapse.
- Avoid traveling to places where there is a risk of getting Brucellosis infection.
Sample types in Brucella, DNA PCR – Qualitative test
A blood sample is needed for the Brucella, DNA PCR – Qualitative
Side effects/risks of Brucella Infection
Even after treatment, Brucella bacteria can survive inside the host and Brucellosis can become chronic, resulting in long-term health issues.
- Recurrent fevers.
- Swelling of the heart.
- Spondylitis and arthritis.