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Oxford University Press, Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 3(116), p. 261-269, 2021

DOI: 10.1093/trstmh/trab113



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Seroprevalence estimate and risk factors for Coxiella burnetii infections among humans in a highly urbanised Brazilian state

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Abstract Background Q fever is among the top 13 global priority zoonoses, however, it is still neglected and under-reported in most of the world, including Brazil. Thus, we evaluated the seroprevalence of and the risk factors for Coxiella burnetii infections in humans from Minas Gerais, a highly urbanised Brazilian state. Methods Coxiella burnetii was searched for patient samples (n=437), which were suspected of then later confirmed as negative for dengue fever, by the indirect immunofluorescence technique and real-time PCR. Risk factors for infections and spatial clusters for both C. burnetii-seropositive individuals and livestock concentration were evaluated. Results We found that 21 samples (4.8%; 95% CI 3.0 to 7.2%) were reactive for at least one class of anti-C. burnetii antibodies (titer of ≥64), with rural residence (p=0.036) being a risk factor. Also, two spatial clusters of seropositivity were found within a significant area by Scan, and a probable relationship between the Scan result and the livestock concentration by area was found. Conclusions Seropositive individuals were associated with rural residence, with a likely relationship with the livestock concentration. Thus, this study establishes baseline figures for C. burnetii seroprevalence in humans in a state of Brazil, allowing the monitoring of trends and setting of control targets, as well as more representative longitudinal and risk analysis studies.