Scholz et al. report the isolation of Brucella microti in soil. Brucella microti is a recently described species within the Brucella genus. Its behaviour is strinkingly different in terms of growth characteristics (it is a fast growing microorganism) compared to the rest of the genus. The finding of this species in soil is in keeping with this observation, and provides a first indication of where Brucella as a highly host adapted pathogen may come from.