academic journalism

Diagnosis of Human Brucellosis by Blood Culture (BACTEC) and PCR Method via Whole Blood and Serum


avatar Mohammad Yousef Alikhani 1 , avatar Seyyed Hamid Hashemi ORCID 2 , * , avatar Zahra Naseri 3 , avatar Safar Farajnia 4 , avatar Hadi Peeri-Dogaheh 5

1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, IR Iran

2 Department of Infectious Diseases, Hamedan University of Medical Sciences, Hamedan, IR Iran

3 Blood Transfusion Research Center, High Institute for Research and Education in Transfusion, Hamedan, IR Iran

4 Biotechnology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, IR Iran

5 School of Medicine, Ardebil University of Medical Sciences, Ardebil, IR Iran

How to Cite: Alikhani M Y, Hashemi S H, Naseri Z, Farajnia S, Peeri-Dogaheh H. Diagnosis of Human Brucellosis by Blood Culture (BACTEC) and PCR Method via Whole Blood and Serum. Jundishapur J Microbiol.6(3): 248-51.
doi: 10.5812/jjm.5073.


Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology: 6 (3); 248-51
Published Online: May 9, 2012
Article Type: Research Article
Received: April 6, 2012
Accepted: July 10, 2012



Brucellosis is the most common global zoonosis and an important public health problem in many parts of the world including Iran. Diagnosis of brucellosis is frequently difficult to establish and conventional methods are not always successful in identifying the organisms. Rapid detection of Brucella species by an automated blood culture system and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) may lead to an earlier diagnosis and may improve patient management.


The current study aimed to evaluate PCR technique as a diagnostic tool for brucellosis in comparison to conventional bacteriological techniques.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 50 patients suspected to have brucellosis were included in this study. All patients presented clinical signs compatible with brucellosis. Diagnosis was established by detecting a titer equal to or greater than 1:160 by the standard tube agglutination (STA) method. Blood samples and sera from the patients were tested by culture using BACTEC 9050 system and PCR using primer set to amplify a 223 bp region with in the gene coding for a 31 KD Brucella antigen.


Eleven (22%) whole blood samples and 17 (34%) serum samples out of 50 had positive PCR and 7 (14%) patients had Brucella species grown in their cultures. Out of 43 blood culture negative samples, 10 (23.3 %) were positive with the serum PCR versus in 4(9.3 %) with whole blood PCR.


The results suggest that the serum PCR assay is rapid and easy to perform and highly sensitive and specific, and it may therefore be considered a useful tool for diagnosis of human brucellosis.

Full Text

Full text is available in PDF

© 2012, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.