Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology

Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology / 2003 / Article

Original Article | Open Access

Volume 14 |Article ID 504796 | https://doi.org/10.1155/2003/504796

Patrick Dolcé, Marie-Joële Bélanger, Krzysztof Tumanowicz, Claude P Gauthier, Philippe Jutras, Richard Massé, Claude Montpetit, Harold Bernatchez, Dorothy McColl, Harvey Artsob, "Coxiella burnetii Seroprevalence of Shepherds and Their Flocks in the Lower Saint-Lawrence River Region of Quebec, Canada", Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, vol. 14, Article ID 504796, 6 pages, 2003. https://doi.org/10.1155/2003/504796

Coxiella burnetii Seroprevalence of Shepherds and Their Flocks in the Lower Saint-Lawrence River Region of Quebec, Canada

Received26 Feb 2002
Accepted12 Sep 2002

Abstract

OBECTIVE: To determine the seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii among the shepherds and their sheep in the lower Saint-Lawrence River region (LSLRR) of Quebec, Canada.DESIGN: A prospective human-animal comparative study was conducted with 81 shepherds from 46 farms and a control group matched for sex and age. All participants answered a standardized questionnaire to evaluate their risk factors for Q fever, including a specific section on the work practices of the shepherds. All human subjects had a blood sample taken for serology to phase I and phase II antigens of C burnetii performed by indirect immunofluorescence assay. At each participating farm, seven to nine sheep had blood samples taken for C burnetii serology to be assessed by the complement fixation test.RESULTS: The seroprevalence to C burnetii was higher in the group of shepherds (28.4%) than the control group (1.2%) (P<0.005). Among the group of shepherds, spending more than 5 h/week in the sheep barn (P=0.06) and buying and/or trading sheep within the past six months (P=0.004) were associated with positive C burnetii serology. A total of 137 of 334 sheep (41%) were seropositive for C burnetii. These positive sheep were distributed in 41 of the 46 flocks (89%). No correlation could be demonstrated between a serology for C burnetii in the herds and the shepherds.CONCLUSION: Q fever is highly prevalent in the LSLRR of Quebec, affecting 89% of the flocks and 28% of the shepherds. Shepherds in this region are at increased risk for C burnetii infection in comparison to the general population.

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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