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Ecohealth. 2014 Sep;11(3):429-33. doi: 10.1007/s10393-014-0924-0. Epub 2014 Mar 7.

Q fever risk across a dynamic, heterogeneous landscape in Laikipia County, Kenya.

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Anthropology Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.


Two hundred fourteen serosamples were collected from four livestock species across five ranches in Laikipia County, Kenya. Serological analysis for Coxiella burnetii (the causative agent for Q fever) showed a distinct seroprevalence gradient: the lowest in cattle, higher in sheep and goats, and the highest in camels. Laikipia-wide aerial counts show a recent increase in the camel population. One hundred fifty-five stakeholder interviews revealed concern among veterinary, medical, ranching, and conservation professionals about Q fever. Local pastoralists and persons employed as livestock keepers, in contrast, revealed no knowledge of the disease. This work raises questions about emerging Q fever risk in Laikipia County and offers a framework for further integrative disease research in East African mixed-use systems.

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