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Lancet Infect Dis. 2005 Apr;5(4):219-26.

Natural history and pathophysiology of Q fever.

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Unité des Rickettsies, CNRS UMR 6020, Faculté de Médecine, Université de la Méditerranée, Marseille, France.


Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii. Infection with C burnetii can be acute or chronic, and exhibits a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations. The extreme infectivity of the bacterium results in large outbreaks and makes it a potential bioweapon. In the past decade, the complete genome sequencing of C burnetii, the exploration of bacterial interactions with the host, and the description of the natural history of the disease in human beings and in experimental models have all added to our knowledge about this fascinating disease. Advances in understanding the pathophysiology and natural history of Q fever are reviewed.

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