Volume 75, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Despite the absence of a natural reservoir for Q fever in the desert of Southern California, six cases have been identified during the past 32 years. During that period of time, two areas have been used by northern sheep ranchers from Idaho and Wyoming to import sheep to an area in the Coachella Valley through 1985. Thereafter, because of housing development, the sheep area was moved to Blythe along the Colorado River. All but two of these patients probably acquired infection by by living or working in close proximity to these grazing areas but not directly involved with the sheep. The shift of infected patients from the Coachella Valley to Blythe (100 miles distant) seems to support that supposition. All patients with acute Q fever developed antibodies primarily to phase II antigen, whereas the only person with chronic Q fever developed phase I antibodies. All patients presented with granulomatous hepatitis. One also had a pulmonary infiltrate, and the single individual with chronic Q fever also had a mitral valve prosthesis, although echocardiography could not define endocarditis. All patients with acute infections responded to 3–5 weeks of therapy with doxycycline, whereas the patient with chronic disease failed 3 years of therapy with combination regimens. Further studies at the Eisenhower Medical Center on the prevalence of infection in Blythe, CA, and elsewhere are anticipated.


Article metrics loading...

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

Full text loading...



  1. Kaplan MM, Bertagna P, 1955. The geographical distribution of Q fever. Bull WHO 13: 829–860. [Google Scholar]
  2. Kazar J, 1993. Q fever is absent from New Zealand. Int J Epidemiol 22: 945–949. [Google Scholar]
  3. Hunt JG, Field PR, Murphy AM, 1983. Immunoglobulin responses to Coxiella burnetii (Q fever). Single serum diagnosis of acute infection using an immunofluorescence technique. Infect Immun 39: 977–981. [Google Scholar]
  4. Hart RJC, 1973. The epidemiology of Q fever. Postrgrad Med J 49: 535–538. [Google Scholar]
  5. Zeman DH, Kirkbride CA, Leslie-Steen P, 1989. Ovine abortion due to Coxiella burnetii infection. J Vet Diagn Invest 1: 178–180. [Google Scholar]
  6. Derrick EH, 1937. “Q” fever, a new fever entity: clinical features, diagnosis and laboratory investigation. Med J Aust 2: 281–299. [Google Scholar]
  7. Robbins FC, Ragan CA, 1946. Q fever in the Mediterranean area: Report of its occurrence in allied troops. Clinical features of the disease. Am J Hyg 44: 6–22. [Google Scholar]
  8. Derrick EH, 1973. The course of infection with Coxiella burnetii. Med J Aust 1: 1051–1057. [Google Scholar]
  9. Marrie TJ, 1995. Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) pneumonia. Clin Infect Dis 21 (Suppl 3): S253–S264. [Google Scholar]
  10. Maurin M, Raoult D, 1999. Q fever. Clin Microbiol Rev 12: 518–553. [Google Scholar]
  11. Turck WPG, Howitt G, Turnberg LA, Fox H, Longson M, Matthews MB, Das Gupta R, 1976. Chronic Q fever. Q J Med 45: 193–217. [Google Scholar]
  12. Ellis ME, Smith CC, Moffat MAJ, 1983. Chronic or fatal Q fever infection: a review of 16 patients seen in North-East Scotland (1967–80). Q J Med 52: 54–66. [Google Scholar]
  13. Atienza P, Ramond M-J, Degott C, Lebrec D, Rueff B, Benhamou J-P, 1988. Chronic Q fever hepatitis complicated by extensive fibrosis. Gastroenterol 95: 478–481. [Google Scholar]
  14. Fournier P-E, Marrie TJ, Raoult D, 1998. Diagnosis of Q fever. J Clin Microbiol 36: 1823–1834. [Google Scholar]
  15. Morbidity Mortality Weekly Report, 2004. Summary of provisional cases of selected notifiable diseases, United States, cumulative, week ending January 3, 2004 (53rd week). 52: 1291.
  16. Biberstein EL, Behymer DE, Bushnell R, Crenshaw G, Riemann HP, Franti CE, 1974. A survey of Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) in California dairy cows. Am J Vet Res 35: 1577–1582. [Google Scholar]
  17. DeForge J, Cone LA, 2006. The serologic prevalence of Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) complement fixing antibodies in the Peninsula bighorn sheep of Southern California. Am J Trop Med Hyg (in press).
  18. Davis GE, Cox HR, 1938. A filter-passing infectious agent isolated from ticks. I. Isolation from Dermacentor andersoni, reactions in animals, and filtration experiments. Public Health Rep 53: 2259–2261. [Google Scholar]
  19. Dyer RE, 1939. Similarity of Australian “Q” fever and a disease caused by an infectios agent isolated from ticks in Montana. Public Health Rep 54: 1229–1238. [Google Scholar]
  20. Marie TJ, Raoult D, 1997. Q fever—a review and issues for the next century. Int J Antimicrob Agents 8: 145–161. [Google Scholar]
  21. Oliphant JW, Gordon DA, Meis A, Parker RR, 1949. Q fever in laundry workers, presumably transmitted from contaminated clothing. Am J Hyg 49: 76–82. [Google Scholar]
  22. Stoenner HG, Lackman DB, Benson WW, Mather J, Casey M, Harvey KA, 1961. The role of dairy cattle in the epidemiology of Q fever in Idaho. J Infect Dis 109: 90–97. [Google Scholar]
  23. D’Angelo LJ, Baker EF, Schlosser W, 1979. Q fever in the United Staes 1948–1977. J Infect Dis 139: 613–615. [Google Scholar]
  24. Guigno D, Coupland B, Smith EG, Farrell ID, Desselberger U, Caul EO, 1992. Primary humoral antibody response to Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever. J Clin Microbiol 30: 1958–1967. [Google Scholar]
  25. Raoult D, Marrie T, 1995. Q fever. Clin Infect Dis 20: 489–496. [Google Scholar]
  26. Yebra M, Marazuela M, Albarran F, Moreno A, 1988. Chronic Q fever hepatitis. Rev Infect Dis 10: 129–130. [Google Scholar]
  27. Geddes AM, 1983. Q fever. Br Med J 287: 927–928. [Google Scholar]
  28. Spelman DW, 1982. Q fever: a study of 111 consecutive cases. Med J Aust 1: 547–553. [Google Scholar]
  29. Maurin M, Raoult D, 1993. In vitro susceptibilities of spotted fever group Rickettsiae and Coxiella burnetii to clarithromycin. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 37: 2633–2637. [Google Scholar]
  30. Raoult D, Yeaman MR, Baca OG, 1989. Susceptibility of Coxiella burnetii to perfloxacin and ofloxacin in ovo and in persistently infected L929 cells. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 33: 621–623. [Google Scholar]
  31. Raoult D, Houpikian P, Tissot–Dupont H, Riss JM, Arditi-Dijiane J, Brouqui P, 1999. Treatment of Q fever endocarditis: comparison of two regimens containing doxycycline and of-loxacin or hydroxychloroquine. Arch Int Med 159: 167–173. [Google Scholar]
  32. McQuiston JH, 2002. Childs. Q fever in humans and animals in the United States. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2: 179–191. [Google Scholar]
  33. Cone LA, Saeed S, 2000. Q-fever presenting with intractable diarrhea and fever with both responding to indomethacin. Anti-microb Infect Dis Newsletter. 18: 38–40. [Google Scholar]
  • Received : 31 Jul 2005
  • Accepted : 29 Jan 2006

Most Cited This Month

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