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Interest in Brucella species as a biological weapon stems from the fact that airborne transmission of the agent is possible. It is highly contagious and enters through mucous membranes such as the conjunctiva, oropharynx, respiratory tract and skin abrasions. It has been estimated that 10-100 organisms only are sufficient to constitute an infectious aerosol dose for humans. Signs and symptoms are similar in patients whatever the route of transmission and are mostly non-specific. Symptoms of patients infected by aerosol are indistinguishable from those of patients infected by other routes. Regimens containing doxycycline plus streptomycin or doxycycline plus rifampin are effective for most forms of brucellosis. Isolation of patients is not necessary. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and fluoroquinolones also have good results against Brucella, but are associated with high relapse rates when used as monotherapy. The combination of ofloxacin plus rifampicin is associated with good results. Even if there is little evidence to support its utility for post-exposure prophylaxis, doxycycline plus rifampicin is recommended for 3 to 6 weeks.


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