Genetic evidence of <i>Coxiella burnetii</i> infection in acute febrile illnesses in Iran

by Saber Esmaeili, Ashraf Mohabati Mobarez, Mohammad Khalili, Ehsan Mostafavi, Pardis Moradnejad

Mounting evidence suggests that Q-fever is more prevalent in Iran than originally believed. However, in most parts of the country, clinicians do not pay enough attention to Q fever in their differential diagnosis. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in suspected cases of acute Q fever in north-western Iran using molecular techniques. Febrile patients were enrolled in the study and investigated for C. burnetii infection. Sera samples were tested using real-time PCR for detection of IS1111 gene, and positive samples were confirmed with nested PCR. Nine patients (4.2%) out of 216 suspected cases were positive for C. burnetii. Weakness and fatigue, headache, and lethargy were the most prevalent clinical symptoms in acute Q fever patients. According to the results of this study and other reports of human cases in Iran, the diagnosis system of Q fever in Iran should be urgently revamped.

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