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Infectious Diseases in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 9 (2001), Issue 1, Pages 47-49

Q Fever During Pregnancy: An Emerging Cause of Prematurity and Abortion

1Internal Medicine Department, San Juan University Hospital, Alicante, Spain
2C/Amadeo de Saboya 2, 5 B, Alicante 03012, Spain

Received 14 August 2000; Accepted 30 November 2000

Copyright © 2001 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.


Background: Although the pathogenic role of Coxiella burnetii infection during pregnancy is controversial, some cases of stillbirth and abortion occurring after an acute or chronic infection have been mentioned in the literature. Recently, Q fever has been advocated as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in pregnancy

Case: We describe an 18-year-old primipara woman admitted to our hospital for high fever and pancytopenia during an acute C. burnetii infection. She was successfully treated with clarithromycin, overcoming fever and pancytopenia. Finally, she gave birth to a healthy infant, and 1 year later both remained well.

Conclusion: Q fever is a potentially serious disease in pregnancy owing to the possibility of placenta infection and fetal transmission affecting its outcome. Q fever infection should be suspected in unexplained febrile episodes or abortion during pregnancy, when epidemiologic and clinical data are present.We believe that C. burnetii serology should be tested in cases of fever of known origin or unexplained abortions, as the TORCH infections are.