The diagnosis of brucellosis is generally made when a standard tube agglutination titer of 1/160 or more for anti-Brucella antibodies in the presence of compatible clinical signs and symptoms. However isolation of the organism from blood or bone marrow is the proof of the disease. In this study we aimed to describe the rate and duration of isolation of Brucella spp. from blood and bone marrow by use of automated blood culture system (BACTEC 9240). Between 1997 to 2001, 23 adults were diagnosed as brucellosis. Blood culture was obtained in all and simultaneous bone marrow culture in 18 and both specimens were cultured by BACTEC 9240. Brucella was isolated from blood and bone marrow cultures in 19 (82.6%) and 13 (81.2%) respectively. All positive blood cultures yielded within 7 days and bone marrow cultures in 4 days. We concluded that automated BACTEC culture systems can isolate Brucella spp. in a fast and efficient way. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.