Q fever (coxiellosis): epidemiology and pathogenesis.Res Vet Sci. 2004 Oct; 77(2):93-100.RV
Q fever is a widespread zoonosis caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Aborting domestic ruminants are the main sources of human infection but the reservoir of infection is extremely wide. In humans, Q fever may occur as acute pneumonia, hepatitis or flu-like illness or may take a severe chronic form, characterized by endocarditis, chronic hepatitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. In animals, the main clinical manifestation is late abortion. Infection with C. burnetii can be diagnosed using cultural, serological and genetic methods but because the organism is potentially dangerous and requires specialized skills only specialist laboratories are capable of undertaking diagnostic tests. This paper provides a brief overview of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of Q fever (coxiellosis).