Q fever in humans and farm animals in four European countries, 1982 to 2010

M. Georgiev, A. Alfonso, H. Neubauer, H. Needham, R. Thiéry, A. Rodolakis, H.I.J. Roest, K.D. Stärk, J.A. Stegeman, P. Vellema, W. van der Hoek, S.J. More

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177 Citations (Scopus)


fever is a disease of humans, caused by Coxiella burnetii, and a large range of animals can be infected. This paper presents a review of the epidemiology of Q fever in humans and farm animals between 1982 and 2010, using case studies from four European countries (Bulgaria, France, Germany and the Netherlands). The Netherlands had a large outbreak between 2007 and 2010, and the other countries a history of Q fever and Q fever research. Within all four countries, the serological prevalence of C. burnetii infection and reported incidence of Q fever varies broadly in both farm animals and humans. Proximity to farm animals and contact with infected animals or their birth products have been identified as the most important risk factors for human disease. Intrinsic farm factors, such as production systems and management, influence the number of outbreaks in an area. A number of disease control options have been used in these four countries, including measures to increase diagnostic accuracy and general awareness, and actions to reduce spillover (of infection from farm animals to humans) and human exposure. This study highlights gaps in knowledge, and future research needs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20407
Number of pages13
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • burnetii-inactivated vaccine
  • coxiella-burnetii
  • seroepidemiologic survey
  • hospitalized-patients
  • sheep flock
  • dairy herds
  • goat herds
  • netherlands
  • outbreak
  • germany


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