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Acta Clin Belg. 2016 Apr 27:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]

Q fever: a contemporary case series from a Belgian hospital.

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a Department of Internal Medicine , University Hospitals Leuven , Leuven , Belgium.
b Department of Microbiology and Immunology , KU Leuven - University of Leuven , Leuven , Belgium.
c Department of Microbiology , University Hospitals Leuven , Leuven , Belgium.



Q fever is a global zoonosis that can cause both acute and chronic infections in humans through aerogenic transmission. Although Q fever was discovered already 80 years ago, this infectious disease remains largely unknown. We studied a case series in a Belgian tertiary care hospital.


A laboratory and file query at our department was performed to detect patients who were newly diagnosed with Q fever from 01 January 2005 to 01 October 2014.


In total, 10 acute Q fever and 5 chronic Q fever infections were identified. An aspecific flu-like illness was the prevailing manifestation of acute Q fever, while this was infective endocarditis in chronic Q fever cases. Noteworthy are the high percentage of myocarditis cases in the acute setting and one case of amyloidosis as a manifestation of chronic Q fever. No evolution from acute to chronic Q fever was noted; overall outcome for both acute and chronic Q fever was favourable with a 94% survival rate.


Q fever is an infectious disease characterised by a variable clinical presentation. Detection requires correct assessment of the clinical picture in combination with a laboratory confirmation. Treatment and follow-up are intended to avoid a negative outcome.


Coxiella burnetii; Q fever; Zoonoses

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