Q fever

Thomas J. Marrie

in Oxford Textbook of Zoonoses

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198570028
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199697823 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Q fever

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Epidemiology


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Q fever is a wide spread illness affecting wild and domestic animals and man. The etiological agent Coxiella burnetii, has both a wild life and domestic animal cycle. In mammals, infection localizes to the endometrium and the mammary glands. The organism is reactivated during pregnancy reaching high concentrations in the placenta. At the time of parturition the organism is aerosolized. Inhalation of Coxiella burnetii by a susceptible animal results in Q fever. In man, Q fever may be acute (self limited febrile illness, pneumonia, hepatitis) or chronic (mostly endocarditis, but also osteomyelitis, endovascular infection, hepatitis [can be both acute and chronic] and Q fever in pregnancy). Abortion and stillbirth are manifestations of Q fever in domestic animals and in animal models of disease (such as a mouse model of Q fever in pregnancy ). A vaccine is available for abattoir workers, veterinarians and others at high risk for acquiring Q fever.

Chapter.  14458 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Infectious Diseases ; Epidemiology

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