Brucellosis is a bacterial infection which induces inconstant fevers, sweating, weakness, anorexia, headaches, depression and muscular and bodily pain The popular name of the condition originated due to the undulance of the fever, which raises and falls constantly. Brucellosis is named after its researcher David Bruce. Maltese doctor and archaeologist Sir Temi Zammit identified unpasteurized milk as the major source of the pathogen in 1905, and it has since become known as Malta Fever. In animals this disease is also known as contagious abortion and infectious abortion. In 1897 Danish veterinarian Bernhard Bang isolated Brucella abortus as the agent and the additional name Bang's disease was assigned. In modern usage "Bang's disease" is often corrupted to just "bangs.”

The disease is transmitted either through contaminated or untreated milk (and its derivates) or through direct contact with infected animals, which may include sheep, pigs, goats, cattle, camels, bison, and other ruminants. This also includes contact with their carcasses. The incubation period of brucellosis is usually one to three weeks, but some rare instances may take several months to surface.