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SEROPREVALENCE OF HUMAN INFECTION BY COXIELLA BURNETII IN BARCELONA (NORTHEAST OF SPAIN)

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  • 1 Infectious Diseases Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Corporació Parc Taulí, Sabadell, Barcelona, Spain; UDIAT Diagnostic Center, Corporació Parc Taulí, Sabadell Barcelona, Spain; Department of Pediatric, Corporació Parc Taulí, Sabadell Barcelona, Spain

Coxiella burnetii is the causal agent of Q fever, a worldwide-distributed zoonosis, which is endemic in Spain. C. burnetii has an extensive reservoir, including farm animals and pets. The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of C. burnetii in humans in Vallés Occidental (Barcelona, northeast of Spain) and its possible related risk factors. The prevalence of phase II antibodies from 216 subjects was determined by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Age, sex, living place, occupation, and contact with animals were surveyed. A 15.3% seroprevalence was found (≥ 1/40), and 8.8% of samples had titers ≥ 1/80. Seropositive cases were significantly higher in patients > 44 years of age. No statistically significant correlation was found between seropositivity and the remaining variables studied. Therefore, infection by C. burnetii seems to be endemic in our region, with a prevalence ranging from 9% to 15%, depending on the titers that are to be considered significant.

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