Mini Review: Q Fever (Coxiellosis): Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Current Laboratory Diagnosis


  • Petia Genova-Kalou National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), Virology Department, 44A “Gen. Stoletov” Blvd., 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Stefka Krumova National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), Virology Department, 44A “Gen. Stoletov” Blvd., 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Miroslav Parvanov Bulgarian Veterinary Association, 15A Pencho Slaveykov Blvd., 1606 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Radostina Stefanova National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), Virology Department, 44A “Gen. Stoletov” Blvd., 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Radoslav Marinov National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), Virology Department, 44A “Gen. Stoletov” Blvd., 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Ivona Andonova National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), Virology Department, 44A “Gen. Stoletov” Blvd., 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • George Dyankov Institute of Optical Materials and Technologies “Acad. J. Malinowski” (IOMT), Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), 109 “Acad. G. Bonchev” Str., 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Konstantin Simeonov National Diagnostic and Research Veterinary Medical Institute "Prof. Dr. G. Pavlov”, Bulgarian Food Safety Agency (BFSA), 15A Pencho Slaveykov Blvd., 1606 Sofia, Bulgaria,


Coxiella burnetii, Q fever, PCR, EIA IgM/IgG, IFA


Q fever is zooantroponozis with global distribution caused by the strictly intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Causative agent of Q fever is an obligate intracellular parasite, classified in the genus Coxiella, family Coxiellaceae, class Gammaproteobacteria. The importance of the disease was assessed both in terms of human health and the serious economic damage they cause on livestock. Clinical manifestation of Q fever in humans is characterized by a wide variety - from asymptomatic infection to a chronic disease that can be fatal. Several basic methods have been developed to detection of C. burnetii. PCR and C. burnetii genomic sequences in whole blood are a sensitive and safe method of detection, with >90% sensitivity. A four-fold or greater rise of (CF) antibody (phase 2) between the paired sera is also diagnostic approach. Sensitivity of a four-fold rise in titre has been estimated as 73% ÷78% and specificity has been estimated as 90%, respectively. EIA is method with highly sensitive and specific. EIA detect IgM and then IgG antibodies which develop to phase II antigens in 10 to 14 days from symptom onset. IFA tests are of particular value for confirmation of acute infection and for diagnosis of chronic infection with high sensitivity. The technique detected IgG, IgM and IgA immunoglobulin classes. Suitable specimens for C. burnetii detection are blood samples. Although scientific interest in Q fever has always existed, a number of facts concerning the unforeseen nature of the epidemic, various clinical manifestations both in humans and in animals, the opportunities for chronic and other features of infection remain unclear. For this reason, timely and highly sensitive laboratory diagnosis is crucial for the outcome of the disease and subsequent treatment and monitoring.


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How to Cite

Genova-Kalou, P. ., Krumova, S. ., Parvanov, M. ., Stefanova, R. ., Marinov, R. ., Andonova, I. ., Dyankov, G. ., & Simeonov, K. . (2021). Mini Review: Q Fever (Coxiellosis): Epidemiology, Pathogenesis and Current Laboratory Diagnosis. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology, and Sciences, 81(1), 136–143. Retrieved from