Q fever (Coxiella burnetii): A bleuprint for outbreak

H.I.J. Roest, D. Frangoulidis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


About 80 years ago, Q fever research began due to human outbreaks
of unknown origin, associated with domestic animals. Since then, some but not
all characteristics of this “query” disease, caused by the intracellular bacterium
Coxiella burnetii were revealed. In this chapter the bacteriology of the bacterium,
clinical presentation, epidemiology and transmission of the disease in humans and
animals are presented. Domestic small ruminants are the main source of human
Q fever. Although Q fever is considered to be an occupational disease, outbreaks
have a major public health impact and attract most attention. The Dutch Q fever
outbreak, involving 4000 human cases over the years 2007–2010, is an example
of how Q fever can re-emerge from an endemic state into an outbreak of unforeseen dimension. In this outbreak the epidemiological link between dairy goats and human cases was confirmed by genotyping for the first time. This was possible due to the previous development of genotyping assays that are applicable on clinical material. Although Q fever seems to be a blue print for outbreaks it is not known yet what factors are essential to cause outbreaks and how they interact. To prevent outbreaks, a better understanding of these factors and their interaction is necessary and research should therefore focus on this.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZoonoses-Infections Affecting Humans and Animals
Subtitle of host publicationfocus on Public Health Aspects
EditorsAndreas Sing
Place of PublicationDordrecht
PublisherSpringer Science + Business Media
ISBN (Electronic)9789401794572
ISBN (Print)9789401794572
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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