Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory characteristics of acute Q fever in an endemic area in Israel, 2006–2016

S. Reisfeld*, S. Hasadia Mhamed, M. Stein, M. Chowers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Our purpose was to describe the clinical, epidemiological and laboratory characteristics of patients hospitalised with acute Q fever in an endemic area of Israel. We conducted a historical cohort study of all patients hospitalised with a definite diagnosis of acute Q fever, and compared them to patients suspected to have acute Q fever, but diagnosis was ruled out. A total of 38 patients had a definitive diagnosis, 47% occurred during the autumn and winter seasons, only 18% lived in rural regions. Leucopaenia and thrombocytopaenia were uncommon (16% and 18%, respectively), but mild hepatitis was common (mean aspartate aminotransferase 76 U/l, mean alanine aminotransferase 81 U/l). We compared them with 74 patients in which acute Q fever was ruled out, and found that these parameters were not significantly different. Patients with acute Q fever had a shorter hospitalisation and they were treated more often with doxycycline than those without acute Q fever (6.4 vs. 14 days, P = 0.007, 71% vs. 38%, P = 0.001, respectively). In conclusion, acute Q fever can manifest as an unspecified febrile illness, with no seasonality. We suggest that in endemic areas, Q fever should be considered in the differential diagnosis in any febrile patient with risk factors for a persistent infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere131
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume147
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Acute
  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Definitive diagnosis
  • Q fever

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