National Report - More than 20 percent of veterinarians tested in 2006 showed evidence of past infection with Coxiella burnetii, the causative organism of Q fever.
NATIONAL REPORT — More than 20 percent of veterinarians tested in 2006 showed evidence of past infection with Coxiella burnetii, the causative organism of Q fever, according to an article in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Veterinarians older than 46 who treated cattle, swine or wildlife or had routine contact with ponds are at higher risk for developing antibodies against C. burnetii, the article, "Seroepidemiologic and Occupational Risk Survey for Coxiella burnetii Antibodies among US Veterinarians," concluded.
Q fever is a reportable zoonotic disease in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Serum samples were taken from 508 veterinarians who attended the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) annual convention in 2006. Antibodies against C. burnetii were detected in 113 of the 508 veterinarians, according to the study.
The study highlights the need for personal protective equipment when treating animals that are potentially infected with C. burnetii.
A human vaccine for Q fever used successfully in Australia is not commercially available in the United States.