Serology for brucellosis is a blood test to look for the presence of antibodies against brucella. These are the bacteria that cause the disease brucellosis.
A normal (negative) result usually means you have not come in contact with the bacteria that causes brucellosis. However, this test may not detect the disease at an early stage. Your provider may have you come back for another test in 10 days to 3 weeks.
Infection with other bacteria, such as yersinia, francisella, and vibrio, and certain immunizations can cause false-positive results.
What Abnormal Results Mean
An abnormal (positive) result usually means you have come in contact with the bacteria that causes brucellosis.
However, this positive result does not mean that you have an active infection. Your provider will have you repeat the test after a few weeks to see if the test result increases. This increase is more likely to be a sign of a current infection.
Brucellosis is an infection that occurs from coming into contact with animals that carry brucella bacteria.
Your health care provider may order this test if you have signs or symptoms of brucellosis. People working in jobs where they often come in contact with animals or meat, such as slaughterhouse workers, farmers, and veterinarians, are most likely to get this disease.