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28 November 2013 : Original article

Q fever outbreaks in Poland during 2005–2011

Tomasz ChmielewskiABCDEF, Stanisława Tylewska-WierzbanowskaADEG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.889947

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:1073-1079

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Q fever is a health problem affecting humans and animals worldwide. In Poland, previous studies have pointed to 2 sources of outbreaks of the disease: the importation of infected animals and their products, and natural domestic foci. In the last decade, 5 outbreaks have occurred in cattle farms in south Poland in Malopolskie, Podkarpackie, Opolskie, and Silesian provinces. The aim of this study was to characterize the Q fever foci in Poland.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 279 individuals were included. Levels of serum IgM and IgG antibodies to phase I and II C. burnetii antigens were assayed by indirect immunofluorescence method. Bacterial DNA from all specimens were detected with PCR with primer pairs specific to the htpAB-associated repetitive element, and amplicons were sequenced.

RESULTS: Infection was recognized in 67 individuals out of 279 tested in all foci. Twenty-five individuals presented clinical symptoms of acute Q fever. DNA of C. burnetii was found in 8 human blood samples obtained from 3 farm workers and 5 family members.

CONCLUSIONS: The described outbreaks demonstrate that the main source of human infections in Poland is infected cattle.

Keywords: Animals, Agriculture, Antigens, Bacterial - blood, Cattle, Coxiella burnetii - immunology, DNA Primers - genetics, Disease Outbreaks - history, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect, History, 21st Century, Immunoglobulin G - blood, Immunoglobulin M - blood, Occupational Exposure, Poland - epidemiology, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Q Fever - microbiology, Zoonoses - microbiology

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