Q Fever is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused by, a bacterium called Coxiella burnetii. It was first identified in Queensland, Australia, in 1935 by Derrick. A zoonotic disease is an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans. Cattle, sheep, and goats are the primary reservoirs of C. burnetii. Pets (cats and dog) are common sources of infection. Milk, birth products, urine, and faeces of infected animals contain the disease causing organisms that are resistant to heat, drying, and many common disinfectants. This resistance allow bacteria to survive for long periods in the environment. Humans are usually infected by inhalation of aerosols or infected air particles. Coxiella can be spread far through the air. Exposure to milk products is a less frequent source of infection.
Spread from human to human (though extremely rare) can occur through sexual intercourse, during delivery, or by blood transfusion. Q Fever is partially seasonal and often related to lambing time.
Males have more severe disease. Middle-aged people are more frequently affected and hospitalized. Only about 50 percent of all people infected with C. burnetii show features of clinical illness. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) is the most dependable and widely used method to detect Q Fever. Diagnosis of Q Fever is made based on laboratory investigations. Doxycycline is the most efficient antimicrobial for Q Fever.
Q Fever is considered by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to be a potential agent of bioterrorism. As the Coxiella burnetii is highly resistant to heat and drying, it can survive for long periods in the environment and can be used in biological warfare.
Latest Publications and Research on Q FeverImplementation of a Q fever vaccination program for high-risk patients in the Netherlands. - Published by PubMed
Large regional differences in serological follow-up of q Fever patients in the Netherlands. - Published by PubMed
Cardiac Manifestations of Q Fever Infection: Case Series and a Review of the Literature. - Published by PubMed
Survey of Coxiella burnetii in Ticks Collected from Dogs in Japan. - Published by PubMed
Acute monoarthritis as presenting manifestation of acute Q fever: report of a new case and literature review. - Published by PubMed