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Q fever during pregnancy: an emerging cause of prematurity and abortion.

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  • 1Internal Medicine Department, San Juan University Hospital, Alicante, Spain.



Although the pathogenic role of Coxiella burnetii infection during pregnancy is controversial, some cases of stillbirth and abortion occurring after an acute or chronic infection have been mentioned in the literature. Recently, Q fever has been advocated as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in pregnancy


We describe an 18-year-old primipara woman admitted to our hospital for high fever and pancytopenia during an acute C. burnetii infection. She was successfully treated with clarithromycin, overcoming fever and pancytopenia. Finally, she gave birth to a healthy infant, and 1 year later both remained well.


Q fever is a potentially serious disease in pregnancy owing to the possibility of placenta infection and fetal transmission affecting its outcome. Q fever infection should be suspected in unexplained febrile episodes or abortion during pregnancy, when epidemiologic and clinical data are present. We believe that C. burnetii serology should be tested in cases of fever of known origin or unexplained abortions, as the TORCH infections are.

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