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J Infect Chemother. 2003 Jun;9(2):151-5.

Epidemiological survey on the route of Coxiella burnetii infection in an animal hospital.

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Department of Research and Development, Saitama, Japan.


The source of Q fever infection, was investigated by serological and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of specimens from humans and pets in an animal hospital. Two animal health technicians showed a positive serological reaction against Coxiella burnetiiat the start. One of the two positive subjects remained PCR-positive for about 1 year and the other converted to PCR-negative, but the IgG antibody titer remained at 1 : 128 after minocycline treatment. Among animals housed in the hospital, two dogs were PCR-positive at the start, and the infection was transmitted to three cats about 5 months later. All these animals became negative for C. burnetii DNA after minocycline treatment. Furthermore, C. burnetii was isolated from the sera of the two humans and two dogs. C. burnetiiisolates from the humans and dogs were analyzed, and it was found that the sequence homology of the com1 region was high, 99.9%, and the QpH1 plasmid was detected. These results suggest that these isolates were the same type, and it was considered that the infection was derived from the dogs, though the time of infection could not be confirmed.

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