Coxiella burnetii seroprevalence in unvaccinated veterinary workers in Australia: Evidence to support Q fever vaccination

Emily Sellens, Katrina L. Bosward, Jacqueline M. Norris, Nicholas Wood, Jane Heller, Stephen Graves, Heather F. Gidding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Q fever (caused by Coxiella burnetii) is a serious zoonotic disease that occurs almost worldwide. Occupational contact with animals increases the risk of exposure, and Q fever vaccination is recommended for veterinary workers in Australia. This study aimed to investigate C. burnetii seroprevalence among unvaccinated veterinary workers in Australia and determine factors associated with a positive serological result. During 2014 and 2015, convenience sampling at veterinary conferences and workplace vaccination clinics was undertaken. Participants completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample for C. burnetii serology. Participants were predominantly veterinarians (77%), but veterinary support staff, animal scientists, and administration workers also participated. Blood samples (n = 192) were analysed by an immunofluorescence assay and considered positive where the phase I or phase II IgG titre was ≥1/50. Seroprevalence was 19% (36/192; 95% CI 14%–25%). A positive serological result was significantly associated with (a) working in outer regional/remote areas (odds ratio [OR] 6.2; 95% CI 1.9–20.8; reference = major cities; p =.009) and (b) having spent more than 50% of total career working with ruminants (OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.7–13.5; reference = <15% of career; p =.025). These findings confirm an increased risk of exposure to C. burnetii compared to the general population, providing new evidence to support Q fever vaccination of veterinary workers in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 02 Nov 2019

Fingerprint

Coxiella burnetii
Q fever
Q Fever
Seroepidemiologic Studies
seroprevalence
Vaccination
vaccination
odds ratio
Odds Ratio
Veterinarians
blood
Zoonoses
Ruminants
working conditions
Serology
zoonoses
sampling
Workplace
fluorescent antibody technique
Fluorescent Antibody Technique

Cite this

Sellens, Emily ; Bosward, Katrina L. ; Norris, Jacqueline M. ; Wood, Nicholas ; Heller, Jane ; Graves, Stephen ; Gidding, Heather F. / Coxiella burnetii seroprevalence in unvaccinated veterinary workers in Australia : Evidence to support Q fever vaccination. In: Zoonoses and Public Health. 2019 ; pp. 1-10.
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Coxiella burnetii seroprevalence in unvaccinated veterinary workers in Australia : Evidence to support Q fever vaccination. / Sellens, Emily; Bosward, Katrina L.; Norris, Jacqueline M.; Wood, Nicholas; Heller, Jane; Graves, Stephen; Gidding, Heather F.

In: Zoonoses and Public Health, 02.11.2019, p. 1-10.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Coxiella burnetii seroprevalence in unvaccinated veterinary workers in Australia

T2 - Evidence to support Q fever vaccination

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AU - Bosward, Katrina L.

AU - Norris, Jacqueline M.

AU - Wood, Nicholas

AU - Heller, Jane

AU - Graves, Stephen

AU - Gidding, Heather F.

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