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Screening for Coxiella burnetii seroprevalence in chronic Q fever high-risk groups reveals the magnitude of the Dutch Q fever outbreak

  • L. M. KAMPSCHREUR (a1) (a2), J. C. J. P. HAGENAARS (a3), C. C. H. WIELDERS (a4) (a5), P. ELSMAN (a6), P. J. LESTRADE (a2), O. H. J. KONING (a3), J. J. OOSTERHEERT (a1), N. H. M. RENDERS (a4) and P. C. WEVER (a4)...

Summary

The Netherlands experienced an unprecedented outbreak of Q fever between 2007 and 2010. The Jeroen Bosch Hospital (JBH) in 's-Hertogenbosch is located in the centre of the epidemic area. Based on Q fever screening programmes, seroprevalence of IgG phase II antibodies to Coxiella burnetii in the JBH catchment area was 10·7% [785 tested, 84 seropositive, 95% confidence interval (CI) 8·5–12·9]. Seroprevalence appeared not to be influenced by age, gender or area of residence. Extrapolating these data, an estimated 40 600 persons (95% CI 32 200–48 900) in the JBH catchment area have been infected by C. burnetii and are, therefore, potentially at risk for chronic Q fever. This figure by far exceeds the nationwide number of notified symptomatic acute Q fever patients and illustrates the magnitude of the Dutch Q fever outbreak. Clinicians in epidemic Q fever areas should be alert for chronic Q fever, even if no acute Q fever is reported.

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Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: L. M. Kampschreur, Division of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Room F02-107, University Medical Centre Utrecht, PO Box 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands. (Email: l.m.kampschreur@umcutrecht.nl)

References

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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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