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Can J Infect Dis. 1996 Nov;7(6):370-3.

Importance of Q fever in community acquired pneumonia.

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Centre Hospitalier St-Joseph, Trois-Rivières, Québec and National Laboratory for Special Pathogens, Laboratory Centre for Disease Control, Ottawa, Ontario.


Coxiella burnetii appears to be endemic in animals in the Mauricie region of Quebec, and causes some human cases of Q fever annually. Unlike in other rural areas, patients in this study experienced few respiratory symptoms. To determine whether C burnetii pneumonia is underdiagnosed, adults admitted to hospital for community acquired pneumonia were included in a one-year serological study. Significant immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) titres in four of 118 patients with pneumonia (fewer than 4%) were studied. Clinical presentation, standard laboratory tests and epidemiological data did not allow identification of these cases; however, Q fever increased during the warm months. There were no detectable complement fixing (CF) antibodies in these four cases. C burnetii causes few cases of pneumonia in Mauricie. IFA seems to be a more sensitive test than CF.


Coxiella burnetii; Pneumonia; Q Fever

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