Volume 29, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



While Q fever is considered an occupational hazard of persons associated with livestock, and cattle raising is a major industry in Panamá, little or no data have been available on the status of Q fever infection in that country. Accordingly, the prevalence of complement-fixing antibodies to was investigated in a random selection of 1,059 specimens from 4,700 sera collected in 1968–1969 from people associated with livestock or their by-products in a country-wide survey. Sera were tested by a modifed diagnostic complement-fixation test adapted to the microtiter technique. Of the 1,059 samples examined, 99 (9.4%) contained Q fever complement-fixing antibodies with titers ranging between 1:4 and 1:32 or greater. Positive sera were found among residents in three provinces in central Panamá (Herrera, 20.2%; Panamá, 14.5%; and Los Santos, 13.7%). The lowest rate (2.1% positive) was found in Chiriquí province in western Panamá. These differences are significant. The overall rate (9.4%) found in those in contact with livestock was five times higher than that found in an earlier survey in 1966 among a cross-section of the population in which only 1.8% were positive. Positive sera were found most frequently in those aged 15–19 years (12.4%) and least often in the 10–14 (7.3%) age group. Those who worked in rustic rural slaughterhouses were most frequently positive (16.8%), compared to those in modern abattoirs (8.8%), butcher shops (9.4%), or dairy farms (9.4%). While clinical Q fever was not identified, the association of human infection with the livestock industry is confirmed.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error