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Prevalence and diagnostics of Q-fever on dairy goat farms

By Marjon van Stiphout


Q-fever is a zoonosis caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. In 2007, a large human outbreak occurred in the Netherlands. A goat farm in the same area with abortion due to Q-fever was seen as a possible source of this outbreak. In this study, bulk milk samples from dairy goat farms in the Netherlands were collected and tested, using a PCR and an ELISA, to estimate the prevalence of Q-fever. Furthermore, on four goat farms with a Q fever history and eight farms without a Q fever history, 100 animals per farm were serologically tested (ELISA) and vaginal swabs (PCR) were taken. On each farm, bulk milk samples (PCR and ELISA) were taken also. Of the 302 bulk milk samples 94 (31.1%) were PCR-positive and 85 (28.1%) ELISA-positive. 75 (24.8%) samples were PCR- and ELISA-positive. Of the 302 samples 198 (65.6%) were negative for both the tests. 104 (34.4%) were positive for one or both tests. The seroprevalence on the farms with Q-fever history ranged from 5-30% and on the farms without Q-fever history from 0-64%. The shedding into the vaginal mucus ranged from 8-39% for the farm with Q- fever history and from 0-46% for the farms without Q-fever history. The PCR of the milk was positive on 7 farms and negative on 5 farms. The ELISA of the milk was positive on 6 farms and negative on 6 farms. If the bulk milk was ELISA- and/or PCR-positive there were also animals on the farm that were seropositive and/or that shed the bacterium in the vaginal mucus. With the data from this research better research for the risk factors and the prevention methods is possible

Topics: Diergeneeskunde, Q-fever, goat
Year: 2009
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