• Brucella abortus;
  • Elk;
  • C-ELISA;
  • FPA;
  • PCR


Seven of 18 elk on a deer farm were found by the official Rose-Bengal agglutination test (RBT) and tube agglutination test to be brucellosis reactors/suspects. Evaluation with the competitive ELISA (C-ELISA) and the fluorescence polarization assay (FPA) tests revealed that six and five sera were positive respectively. The seven reactors/ suspects were slaughtered and their blood and tissues were collected. Brucella species could be isolated from three of the slaughtered animals, with nine isolates being obtained from the popliteal, supramammary and submandibular lymph nodes, vaginal discharge, mammary tissue and spleen. Brucella genus-specific PCR based on 16S rRNA and AMOS-PCR, which is specific for differential Brucella species, revealed that all nine isolates were Brucella abortus. These nine were further confirmed to be B. abortus biovar 1 by classical biotyping scheme assays. This is the first report of an outbreak of brucellosis in domestic elk in Korea. Our observations suggest that deer should be included in the routine Brucella surveillance programme for the effective control and prevention of brucellosis in Korea.