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Microb Pathog. 1993 Sep;15(3):177-85.

Lack of pathotype specific gene in human Coxiella burnetii isolates.

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Unité des Rickettsies, Faculté de Médecine de la Timone, Marseille, France.


Human Q fever, due to the obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii may be acute or chronic. The acute form is rarely fatal, although the chronic form, mostly represented by chronic Q fever endocarditis, is severe and usually fatal in lack of appropriate treatment. A correlation between the human disease state and plasmid types has been described, and specific DNA sequences unique to each plasmid type and which would code for specific pathotypes have been characterized. Because this gene specificity of the pathogenesis was hypothesized only on a small number of isolates, we evaluated seven reference isolates and 30 recent C. burnetii isolates from France for which all clinical data were available using the polymerase chain reaction by employing two specific primer sets. Our studies indicate that the previously described CbhE' plasmid-gene is not unique to C. burnetii isolates associated with acute disease, which would mean that the hypothesis of the correlation between gene specificity and pathotype has to be revised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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