“And then there is the expense of several weeks worth of antibiotics,” Celli said.
Due to our good system for pasteurizing dairy products, brucellosis is rare in this country. Outside the U.S., however, about half a million people per year are infected. If researchers could better understand how brucellosis works within cells, disease processes could be interrupted via more effective treatment.
Beyond that, if research leads to a better understanding of how brucellosis works in our bodies, we might be another step closer to better treatments of other diseases that hijack the immune system – diseases such as salmonella and tuberculosis.
Celli’s research into brucellosis is highly technical, and I’m sure it ain’t cheap. But combatting persistent diseases that affect livestock and people is the kind of investment we make to create a better world for our children – and for the children of farmers living in the developing world.
Dr. E. Kirsten Peters was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.