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FEMS Microbiol Rev. 1997 Apr;19(4):209-17.

Coxiella burnetii: the 'query' fever bacterium. A model of immune subversion by a strictly intracellular microorganism.

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Unité des Rickettsies, CNRS UPRESA 6020, Faculté de Médecine, Marseille, France.


Although substantial progress occurred in the knowledge of Coxiella burnetii during the past years, the pathophysiology of Q fever is still obscure. Emerging evidence from clinical investigations suggested that certain disorders of cell-mediated immunity play a pivotal role in Q fever and especially in its chronic form. This review analyses the potential strategies that C. burnetii, a strictly intracellular pathogen, use to divert microbicidal mechanisms of macrophages and to depress protective T-cell mediated immunity. The role of monocytes in the induction of Q fever is specifically discussed.

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