Ritual Slaughter: A Potential Route for Transmission of Brucellosis

Syrian_Bedouin_ShepherdRitual slaughter of animals has a special place in the socio-cultural matrix of several countries. A recent correspondence from Israel, published by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention journal Emerging Infectious Diseases highlights a small case series where the only identifiable route of transmission was the contact shared by the exposed individuals during a ritual slaughter of sheep purchased from Bedouins. Israel has been experiencing a rapid rise in the number of cases of brucellosis owing to the scrapping of “test, slaughter and compensate” policies for small ruminants in 1997, in addition to some other contributory factors. This article highlights the unusual route of transmission through ritual slaughter of infected animals.

Image Credit: Syrian Bedouin Shepherd via Wikimedia


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