Q fever (coxiellosis) is an infectious disease of animals and humans, caused by.C. burnetii and widely distributed throughout the world. It is known that people and animals acquire the disease predominantly.via inhalation of infectious aerosols. The possibility of transmission of the pathogen by the alimentary route is still a matter of debate and remains controversial. Therefore the aim of this study was to fill the gaps in knowledge of oral transmission of.C. burnetii by conducting biological tests on the guinea pig model.
Material and Methods
Guinea pigs, divided into five groups comprising a negative control and four experimental groups, received specified concentrations of.C. burnetii per os. To determine the presence of specific antibodies, blood samples were tested using CFT. Also, internal organs collected during necropsy were screened by a real-time PCR targeting I.1111. Additionally, histopathological evaluation of the tissues was performed.
The presence of antibodies and pathogen DNA in caecum was confirmed in one guinea pig from experimental group IV..C. burnetii was also detected in testicular tissue collected from one animal of experimental group II.
The presence of pathogen DNA in the testicular tissue indicates that infection spreads haematogenously. In the majority of experimental animals specific antibodies and genetic material of.C. burnetii were not detected. This fact suggests that development of infection depends on many factors, such as animal immune status.
The aim of the study was to assess the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in cattle herds in different regions of Poland. A total of 1150 serum samples collected from 443 cattle herds from 14 provinces were tested using complement fixation test. The seroprevalence was different in individual regions of Poland. The average percentage of seropositive herds was 40.41% and these herds were identified in each province tested.