Human brucellosis still presents scientists and clinicians with several challenges, such as the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of Brucella spp, the identification of markers for disease severity, progression, and treatment response, and the development of improved treatment regimens. Molecular studies have shed new light on the pathogenesis of Brucella spp, and new technologies have permitted the development of diagnostic tools that will be useful in developing countries, where brucellosis is still a very common but often neglected disease. However, further studies are needed to establish optimum treatment regimens and local and international control programmes. This Review summarises current knowledge of the pathogenic mechanisms, new diagnostic advances, therapeutic options, and the situation of developing countries in regard to human brucellosis.
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