Prevalence of Coxiella Burnetii in Dairy Herds - Diagnostic Methods and Risk to Humans - A Review

Abstract

Q fever is a zoonotic disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. The main source of infection are ruminants (cattle, sheep, and goats). C. burnetii is excreted via birth products, vaginal mucus, milk, and faeces. Raw milk is considered useful for epidemiological examinations of animals and evaluation of infection dynamics at the herd level. This article summarises data on prevalence studies on C. burnetii in bulk-tank milk in different European countries with the means of serological tests and PCR. It also summarises the results of studies to evaluate the actual risk of disease transmission to humans through consumption of raw milk. Moreover, the available diagnostic tools for detection C. burnetii infection are presented.

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