Q Fever

  • Paul Fiset
  • Theodore E. Woodward


Q fever is an acute infectious disease caused by Coxiella burnetii. The infection has been reported from all continents and occurs in sporadic and epidemic forms. Human infection is usually acquired by inhalation of the organisms from the tissues of infected domestic animals or their contaminated environment. In its classic form, Q fever has a sudden onset with fever, chills , malaise, weakness , and a severe headache. There is frequently a pneumonitis and, in some cases, signs of hepatic involvement. Infection with C. burnetii, however, is usually mild and clinically unrecognized. In contrast to the other rickettsioses, there is no rash and Proteus agglutinins do not develop. Chloramphenicol and the tetracyclines are highly effective except in cases of endocarditis.


Human Infection Serological Survey Coxiella Burnetii Rickettsial Disease Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Fiset
    • 1
  • Theodore E. Woodward
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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