The Occurrence of a Possible Epizootic of Q Fever in Fauna of the Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah

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  • Ecology and Epizoology Research, University of Utah, Dugway and Salt Lake City, Utah


The results of a five-year survey for Q fever in wild animals and livestock in the Great Salt Lake Desert of Utah have been presented. Complement-fixing antibodies to Coxiella burnetii were demonstrated in the sera of 19 wild mammalian species, and in cattle sera. The Q fever rickettsiae were recovered from 15 wild mammalian species, one sheep, and also from ticks, fleas, lice, and mites. A number of birds tested were found to contain neither detectable Q fever antibody nor rickettsiae. The incidence of isolations and seropositives reached a relatively high peak in certain western Utah areas during 1960, indicating an epizootic in the fauna of the area. The relationship of previously reported experimental data to survey results is discussed.

Author Notes

Present address: Chemotherapy Division, Southern Research Institute, Birmingham, Alabama.

Present address: Deseret Test Center, Fort Douglas, Salt Lake City, Utah.