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S Afr Med J. 1993 Jan;83(1):21-5.

Q fever in Zimbabwe. A review of the disease and the results of a serosurvey of humans, cattle, goats and dogs.

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Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Zimbabwe, Harare.


Sera from 494 humans, 180 cattle, 180 goats and 27 dogs, collected from different regions of Zimbabwe, were examined by indirect fluorescence for antibodies reactive with phase II Coxiella burnetii antigen. Overall, 37% of humans were reactive at a titre of 1/40 or greater, and there was no evidence of age- or sex-related differences in seroprevalence. A review of clinical and epidemiological features of Q fever is presented in order to alert health workers to this infection, which apparently occurs frequently in Zimbabwe even though clinical cases have not been reported. In animals, serological evidence of Q fever infection was found in 39% of cattle, but only 15% of dogs and 10% of goats. These results suggest that cattle are important reservoirs of C. burnetii in Zimbabwe.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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