1. An infectious disease often resulting in abortion; transmittable to humans through contaminated milk; SYN. contagious abortion.
2. Disease contracted from meat or milk products from infected domestic animals; SYN. undulant fever, Malta fever, Mediterranean fever.
an undulant fever of cattle.
Disease of cattle, goats, and pigs, also known when transmitted to humans as undulant fever since it remains in the body and recurs. It was named for Australian doctor David Bruce (1855–1931), and is caused by bacteria (genus Brucella). It is transmitted by contact with an infected animal or by drinking contaminated milk.
It has largely been eradicated in the West through vaccination of livestock and pasteurization of milk. Brucellosis is especially prevalent in the Mediterranean and in Central and South America. It can be treated with antibacterial drugs.