Q fever is a worldwide distributed zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, a Gram-negative bacterium. Despite existence of large amount of research data on the developments related to Q fever, no bibliometric analysis of this subject is available to our knowledge. Bibliometric studies are an essential resource to track scholarly trends and research output in a subject. This study is aimed at reporting a bibliometric analysis of publications related to Q fever (2,840 articles published in the period 1990-2019) retrieved from Science Citation Index Expanded, an online database of Clarivate Analytics Web of Science Core Collection. Data was retrieved using keywords “Q fever” or “Coxiella burnetii” in title, abstract, and author keywords to describe important research indicators such as the kind and language of articles, the most important publications, research journals and categories, authors, institutions, and the countries having the most significant contribution to this subject. Finally, the emerging areas in field of diagnosis, host range, and clinical presentation were identified. Word cluster analysis of research related to Q fever revealed that major focus of research has been on zoonosis, seroprevalence, laboratory diagnosis (mainly using ELISA and PCR), clinical manifestations (abortion and endocarditis), vectors (ticks), and hosts (sheep, goat, and cattle). This bibliometric study is intended to visualize the existing research landscape and future trends in Q fever to assist in future knowledge exchange and research collaborations.
The aim of this paper is to review the most significant livestock-associated zoonoses. Human and animal health are intimately connected. This idea has been known for more than a century but now it has gained special importance because of the increasing threat from zoonoses. Zoonosis is defined as any infection naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. As the frequency and prevalence of zoonotic diseases increase worldwide, they become a real threat to public health. In addition, many of the newly discovered diseases have a zoonotic origin. Due to globalization and urbanization, some of these diseases have already spread all over the world, caused by the international flow of goods, people, and animals. However, special attention should be paid to farm animals since, apart from the direct contact, humans consume their products, such as meat, eggs, and milk. Therefore, zoonoses such as salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, tuberculosis, swine and avian influenza, Q fever, brucellosis, STEC infections, and listeriosis are crucial for both veterinary and human medicine. Consequently, in the suspicion of any zoonoses outbreak, the medical and veterinary services should closely cooperate to protect the public health.
The Gram-negative, obligate intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii is the causative organism of the zoonosis Q fever and is known for its resistance toward various intra- and extracellular stressors. Infected ruminants such as cattle, sheep, and goats can shed the pathogen in their milk. Pasteurization of raw milk was introduced for the inactivation of C. burnetii and other milk-borne pathogens. Legal regulations for the pasteurization of milk are mostly based on recommendations of the Codex Alimentarius. As described there, C. burnetii is considered as the most heat-resistant non-spore-forming bacterial pathogen in milk and has to be reduced by at least 5 log10-steps during the pasteurization process. However, the corresponding inactivation data for C. burnetii originate from experiments performed more than 60 years ago. Recent scientific findings and the technological progress of modern pasteurization equipment indicate that C. burnetii is potentially more effectively inactivated during pasteurization than demanded in the Codex Alimentarius. In the present study, ultra-high heat-treated milk was inoculated with different C. burnetii field isolates and subsequently heat-treated in a pilot-plant pasteurizer. Kinetic inactivation data in terms of D- and z-values were determined and used for the calculation of heat-dependent log reduction. With regard to the mandatory 5 log10-step reduction of the pathogen, the efficacy of the established heat treatment regime was confirmed, and, in addition, a reduction of the pasteurization temperature seems feasible.
(1) Background: Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii that have cases reported in humans and animals almost everywhere. The aim of this study was to describe the seasonality of Coxiella burnetii in the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and the tick Hyalomma lusitanicum in a meso-Mediterranean ecosystem. (2) Methods: two populations of wild rabbits that differ in whether or not they share habitat with ungulates, mainly red deer (Cervus elaphus) were sampled for a year to collect ticks, blood and vaginal or anal swabs. Presence of C. burnetii DNA in swabs and the tick H. lusitanicum was determined by PCR and serum antibodies by ELISA. (3) Results: C. burnetii DNA was detected in 47.2% of 583 rabbits, in 65.5% of sera, and in more than half of the H. lusitanicum. There were small variations according to sex and age of the rabbits but significant according to the habitat (4) Conclusions: The results indicate that C. burnetii circulates freely between wild rabbits and H. lusitanicum and the sylvatic cycle in meso-Mediterranean environments relies in the presence of wild rabbits and H. lusitanicum above all if sharing habitat with red deer.
Q fever is a zoonotic disease that is a source of active epidemiological concern due to its persistent threat to public health. In this project, we have identified areas in the field of
research, especially regarding public health and genomic analysis, where there is an inadequacy of resources to monitor, organize, and analyze genomic data from
Q fever and spotted fever group rickettsioses (SFGR) are common causes of severe febrile illness in northern Tanzania. Incidence estimates are needed to characterize the disease burden. Using hybrid surveillance—coupling case-finding at two referral hospitals and healthcare utilization data—we estimated the incidences of acute Q fever and SFGR in Moshi, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, from 2007 to 2008 and from 2012 to 2014. Cases were defined as fever and a four-fold or greater increase in antibody titers of acute and convalescent paired sera according to the indirect immunofluorescence assay of Coxiella burnetii phase II antigen for acute Q fever and Rickettsia conorii (2007–2008) or Rickettsia africae (2012–2014) antigens for SFGR. Healthcare utilization data were used to adjust for underascertainment of cases by sentinel surveillance. For 2007 to 2008, among 589 febrile participants, 16 (4.7%) of 344 and 27 (8.8%) of 307 participants with paired serology had Q fever and SFGR, respectively. Adjusted annual incidence estimates of Q fever and SFGR were 80 (uncertainty range, 20–454) and 147 (uncertainty range, 52–645) per 100,000 persons, respectively. For 2012 to 2014, among 1,114 febrile participants, 52 (8.1%) and 57 (8.9%) of 641 participants with paired serology had Q fever and SFGR, respectively. Adjusted annual incidence estimates of Q fever and SFGR were 56 (uncertainty range, 24–163) and 75 (uncertainty range, 34–176) per 100,000 persons, respectively. We found substantial incidences of acute Q fever and SFGR in northern Tanzania during both study periods. To our knowledge, these are the first incidence estimates of either disease in sub-Saharan Africa. Our findings suggest that control measures for these infections warrant consideration.
IntroductionQ fever, a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, affects more males than females despite a similar level of exposure. A protective role of estradiol has been reported in mice, suggesting that sex hormones are involved in C. burnetii infection. We wondered whether the responses of monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) to C. burnetii are influenced by sex hormones.Materials and MethodsThe bacterial intracellular fate in monocytes was studied using quantitative PCR, and monocyte cytokine production in response to C. burnetii was assessed using qRT-PCR and immunoassays. Before infection, MDMs from males and females were incubated with testosterone and estradiol, respectively.ResultsBacterial uptake and persistence were similar in monocytes from males and females but were slightly increased in male MDMs. The expression of inflammatory genes, including those encoding TNF and CXCL10, was higher in MDMs from females than in MDMs from males infected by C. burnetii. Adding testosterone to male MDMs amplified their immunoregulatory properties, including increased expression of IL10 and TGFB genes and TGF-β production in response to C. burnetii. In contrast, adding estradiol to MDMs from females had no effect on their inflammatory profile.ConclusionThe stronger inflammatory profile of macrophages from females may have a protective role, likely under estrogen control, while testosterone may affect disease progression by promoting an anti-inflammatory response. This finding may have consequences for personalized management of patients with Q fever.