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Are wild ruminants a relevant node in Coxiella burnetii maintenance and transmission? The role of red deer (Cervus elaphus) in the Iberian Peninsula

AuthorsGonzález-Barrio, David ; Santos, João P. ; Queirós, João ; Boadella, Mariana ; Barasona, José A. ; Beltrán-Beck, Beatriz ; Ruiz Fons, Francisco
Issue Date2014
CitationTTP8 & STVM12 (2014)
Abstract[Objectives]: The implication of wildlife in Coxiella burnetii - the causal agent of Q fever - ecology has been largely dismissed. Changes in red deer population dynamics may change their relevance as C. burnetii reservoirs for livestock and/or humans. We analysed the rate of exposure to C. burnetii and shedding, and investigated the clinical outcome of Q fever in red deer in the Iberian Peninsula. [Method]: 1,486 red deer sera were analysed by ELISACOXLS (ThermoFisher Scientific, USA); 14.1% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 12.3-15.9) were positive. Risk factor analyses revealed the influence of geography, population, management, cattle density, age and sex on deer exposure to C. burnetii. In a C. burnetii endemic deer farm serum and vaginal swabs from hinds, either experiencing or not reproductive failure, were tested by ELISA and PCR. Coxiella burnetii antibody and DNA prevalence differed in hinds with reproductive failure (50% - 95%CI: 21.7-78.3 - and 40% - 95%CI: 9.7-70.3, respectively) with respect to hinds calving normally (23.1% - 95%CI: 0.0-46.0 - and 15.4% - 95%CI: 4.2-35.0, respectively). [Conclusions]: The high seroprevalence (>30%) observed in some Iberian red deer populations and proven vaginal shedding suggest that deer play an important role in active transmission of C. burnetii at the wildlife/livestock/human interface in Iberia, and perhaps in the Northern Hemisphere. Q fever may additionally be an important cause for reproductive failure in red deer. On-going genotyping of C. burnetii strains from red deer and other Iberian wildlife will clarify the extent of wildlife/livestock/human transmission events.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado al Joint 8th International Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens and 12th Biennial Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine Conference, celebradas en Cape Town (Sudafrica) del 24 al 29 de agosto de 2014.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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