Coxiella Burnetii

Written by: Solaris Diagnostics


Coxiella burnetii is a bacterium isolated from ticks. It is a gram-negative bacterium which causes an infection called Q fever that infects the respiratory system. In more serious cases, it can also cause an infection of the thin membrane lining the inside of the heart and heart valves. Coxiella burnetii can be transmitted through direct contact via ingestion or indirect contact via inhalation. It transferred by swallowing the bacterium through products of the infected animals, such as milk, urine, feces or birth products such as the placenta and amniotic fluid. It can be contracted by the inhalation of contaminated air in barnyard or eating or drinking contaminated food. Other forms of transmission are rare but include human to human transmission and tick bits.

Coxiella burnetii infection causes many symptoms, it can be acute or chronic. Acute Q fever can last for a few days to several weeks. It characterized by flu like symptoms such high fever, vomiting or nausea, fatigue and headache. Infected pregnant women may be at risk for miscarriage, pre-term delivery, and stillbirth. Chronic Q fever presented as an inflammation in the heart valves that cause endocarditis disease and it can last for several months. Symptoms presented as night sweat, shortness of breath, or swelling of the limbs. Q fever can be treated with 2 weeks of antibiotics, and it require a longer treatment for chronic Q fever.

Prevention of the disease can by done by avoiding infected animal’s products and avoiding animals while giving birth. Solaris Diagnostics provides testing for Coxiella burnetii as part of its respiratory panel.

At Solaris Diagnostics, our test panel uses Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) to amplify selected sections of DNA to detect pathogens. PCR is fast and highly sensitive and can produce results within hours.

Now you can provide patients with the quickest and most accurate diagnosis possible from our high-complexity, CAP accredited laboratory. Results are available with a turnaround time (TAT) of 24 hours from the time the sample is received in the laboratory.

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