Q Fever (Query Fever) : Tests & Treatment

Q Fever takes its origin from word “query” and is caused by bacteria Coxiella burnetii that infects some animals and is passed on to humans due to inhalation of infected air particles.

Q Fever is a worldwide zoonotic disease caused by, a bacterium called Coxiella burnetii. A zoonotic disease is an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans. Cattle, sheep, and goats are the primary reservoirs of C. burnetii. Pets (cats and dog) are common sources of infection.

Males have more severe disease. Middle-aged people are more frequently affected and hospitalized. Only about 50 percent of all people infected with C. burnetii show features of clinical illness. Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) is the most dependable and widely used method to detect Q Fever. Diagnosis of Q Fever is made based on laboratory investigations. Doxycycline is the most efficient antimicrobial for Q Fever.

Only about 50 percent of all people infected with C. burnetii show features of clinical illness. Most patients become ill within 2-3 weeks after exposure

Only about 50 percent of all people infected with C. burnetii show features of clinical illness. The other 50% may show no clinical features. Most patients become ill within 2-3 weeks after exposure.

Tests
Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) is the most dependable and widely used method to detect Q Fever. Diagnosis of Q Fever is made based on laboratory investigations.
Diagnosis of Q Fever is made based on laboratory investigations since none of the signs or symptoms are specific.

Indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) is the most dependable and widely used method to detect Q Fever.
Platelet count may be low (thrombocytopenia).
Serologic testing to detect antibodies to Coxiella burnetii antigens.

New studies suggest looking at specific levels of classes of antibodies other than IgG, namely IgA and IgM so as to achieve greater accuracy in detection.

Treatment
Acute Q Fever can easily be treated with antibiotics. Doxycycline is the most efficient antimicrobial for Q Fever (a dose of 100 mg of doxycycline taken orally twice daily for 15-21 days). Alternative to Doxycycline are Quinolone antibiotics.

Chronic Q Fever endocarditis is much more difficult to treat. It requires a combination of drugs like: doxycycline in combination with quinolones, doxycycline in combination with hydroxychloroquine.

Surgery may be required in severe valve involvements. Patients with hepatitis may only improve when given a short course of glucocorticoids. The drug cotrimoxazole during the entire pregnancy may cut down the risk of unfavourable outcomes of Q Fever.

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