Volume 95, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Q fever is endemic in Australia, and during the period 2005–2013 our laboratory diagnosed 379 cases in New South Wales. To evaluate clinical symptoms, epidemiology, mode of diagnosis, antibody profiles, and treatment, a subset of 160 (42%) Q fever cases were analyzed in detail following the return of a questionnaire by the patient's doctor and from their laboratory reports. Overall, 82% patients were male and predominantly middle aged. The majority of patients (89%) had animal contact among which 63% were with cattle, 11% with sheep, and 7% with kangaroos. Clinical symptoms were nonspecific: myalgia (94%), fever (91%), headache (80%), acute fatigue (64%), and arthralgia (55%). Most cases (93%) were acute, and serology (immunofluorescence) was the main diagnostic modality. Positive real-time polymerase chain reaction results were useful in the diagnosis of both acute and chronic Q fever, as was the isolation of in cell culture. Doxycycline was the antibiotic most commonly used.


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  • Received : 16 Nov 2015
  • Accepted : 22 Mar 2016
  • Published online : 06 Jul 2016

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