Journal Article

Acute Q Fever in Adult Patients: Report on 63 Sporadic Cases in an Urban Area

Pere Domingo, Carmen Muñoz, Tomás Franquet, Mercé Gurguí, Francesc Sancho and Guillermo Vazquez

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 4, pages 874-879
Published in print August 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/520452
Acute Q Fever in Adult Patients: Report on 63 Sporadic Cases in an Urban Area

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We report here 63 sporadic urban cases of acute Q fever diagnosed in 1985–1997. Fifty-eight men and five women were included; the mean age (±SD) was 35.6 (±10.2) years. Twenty-six patients had pneumonia, 30 had hepatitis, and 7 had a self-limited febrile illness. The most frequent radiological abnormalities were lobar or segmental alveolar opacities involving right lower lobes. Chronic bronchitis was significantly more frequent among patients with pneumonic Q fever (P = .01). Thirty-two patients' illnesses were diagnosed through seroconversion, 12 by a fourfold increase in serum antibody titer, and 19 by initial high titers. Patients who initially received doxycycline had a significantly shorter duration of fever than those treated with erythromycin or other antibiotics (P = .0001 and P = .0004, respectively). No patient died. Acute Q fever affects mainly urban men, most frequently causing hepatitis, except in those with chronic bronchitis, who more frequently develop pneumonia. Hepatic Q fever presented with more pronounced increases in liver function test values than did pneumonic Q fever. Treatment with doxycycline caused a significant reduction in the duration of fever.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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