Molecular epidemiology of Coxiella burnetii from ruminants in Q fever outbreak, the Netherlands.

H.I.J. Roest, R.C. Ruuls, J.H.H.C. Tilburg, M.H. Nabuurs-Fransen, C.H.W. Klaassen, P. Vellema, R. Van den Brom, D. Dercksen, W. Wouda, M. Spierenburg, A.N. Van der Spek, R. Buijs, P.T.J. Willemsen

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Q fever is a zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. One of the largest reported outbreaks of Q fever in humans occurred in the Netherlands starting in 2007; epidemiologic investigations identified small ruminants as the source. To determine the genetic background of C. burnetii in domestic ruminants responsible for the human Q fever outbreak, we genotyped 126 C. burnetii–positive samples from ruminants by using a 10-loci multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analyses panel and compared them with internationally known genotypes. One unique genotype predominated in dairy goat herds and 1 sheep herd in the human Q fever outbreak area in the south of the Netherlands. On the basis of 4 loci, this genotype is similar to a human genotype from the Netherlands. This finding strengthens the probability that this genotype of C. burnetii is responsible for the human Q fever epidemic in the Netherlands
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)668-675
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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