ISSN 2398-2950      

Coxiella burnettii

ffelis
Contributor(s):

Melissa Kennedy

Synonym(s): C. burnettii


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Order: Rickettsiales.
  • Family: Rickettsiaceae.
  • Tribe: Rickettsieae.
  • Genus: Coxiella.

Etymology

  • Coxiella: named after Herold R Cox who first isolated this organism in the USA in collaboration with G E Davis soon after it was first discovered in Australia.
  • Burnettii: named after Frank MacFarlane Burnet who first studied the properties of the organism.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Survives in the environment.
  • Natural hosts include many species of mammals and arthopods (ticks, fleas, mites, lice and flies).

Lifecycle

  • The organism is disseminated hematogenously.
  • Persists in tissue and multiples in vacoules of the host cell.
  • Endospore-like growth phase occurs - the "small-cell variant".

Transmission

  • In animals via tick bites or aerosols.
  • In humans usually via aerosols. Ruminants ar a major source - many organisms shed from infected animals at parturition.
  • C. burnettii also occurs in milk of cows and sheep but transmission not so likely to occur via the gastrointestinal tract.
  • May be acquired from contaminated wool.
  • Occupational disease of farm workers, slaughterhouse workers and textile workers.

Pathological effects

  • Ruminants: sporadic abortions, weak neonates.
  • Dogs and cats: usually sub-clinical.
  • Humans: abrupt onset fever and headache; 50% of cases radiographs show a patchy pneumonia, although physical chest signs are few. Illness is largely systemic. Mortality high in cases of pneumonia, hepatic infection, or endocarditis.
  • Complications and death are uncommon, although it may become severe and chronic with myocarditis, pericarditis or endocarditis.

Other Host Effects

  • May be latent until the stress associated with parturition; multiplication of the organism occurs in the birth tissue, urine and stool   →   environmental contamination.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

Vaccination

  • Not successful.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Nguyen S V, To H, Minamoto N et al (1997) Evaluation of the high-density agglutination test for Coxiella burnetii antibodies in animals. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol (6), 676-680 PubMed.
  • Willeberg P, Ruppanner R, Behymer D E et al (1980) Environmental exposure to Coxiella burnetii: a sero-epidemiologic survey among domestic animals. Am J Epidermol 111 (4), 437-443 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hirsh D C & Zee Y C (1999) Eds. Veterinary Microbiology. Malden: Blackwell Science Inc. pp 291-293. ISBN 0 8654 2543 4.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!