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Vet Microbiol. 2014 Oct 10;173(3-4):340-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2014.08.016. Epub 2014 Aug 26.

Identification of Coxiella burnetii genotypes in Croatia using multi-locus VNTR analysis.

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Croatian Veterinary Institute, Savska Cesta 143, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. Electronic address:
Croatian Veterinary Institute, Savska Cesta 143, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia.


Although Q fever affects humans and animals in Croatia, we are unaware of genotyping studies of Croatian strains of the causative pathogen Coxiella burnetii, which would greatly assist monitoring and control efforts. Here 3261 human and animal samples were screened for C. burnetii DNA by conventional PCR, and 335 (10.3%) were positive. Of these positive samples, 82 were genotyped at 17 loci using the relatively new method of multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). We identified 13 C. burnetii genotypes not previously reported anywhere in the world. Two of these 13 genotypes are typical of the continental part of Croatia and share more similarity with genotypes outside Croatia than with genotypes within the country. The remaining 11 novel genotypes are typical of the coastal part of Croatia and show more similarity to one another than to genotypes outside the country. Our findings shed new light on the phylogeny of C. burnetii strains and may help establish MLVA as a standard technique for Coxiella genotyping.


Coxiella burnetii; Croatia; Genotyping; MLVA; Q fever

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