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Control and eradication programs of brucellosis in cattle, sheep, goats and pigs have been more or less successfully implemented within the Member States (MS) of the European Union (EU) arid Norway after Word War II. As a result, the epidemiological situation of animal brucellosis is extremely diverse among different MS or regions within a MS and among the different animal species. Some MS, mainly North European countries, and Norway are declared "officially bovine brucellosis free" and/or "officially ovine and caprine (Brucella melitensis) free". The situation is less favorable in Southern European countries, particularly as far as sheep and goat brucellosis are concerned. This situation has important zoonotic consequences as reflected in the number of human brucellosis cases due to B. melitensis that are still encountered in those countries. Brucellosis in swine has re-emerged as a result of spillover from the wild boar brucellosis (Brucella suis biovar 2) reservoir, particularly in outdoor reared pigs. Besides the actual challenge to eradicate brucellosis, further issues have to be addressed: (1) the management of false positive serological results that occur in the course of brucellosis testing, particularly in cattle; (2) the impact of wildlife brucellosis, particularly wild boar brucellosis in domestic animals; and (3) the importance of B. melitensis infection in cattle that are in contact with infected sheep. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.