Seroprevalence and risk factors for Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) seropositivity in dairy goat farmers' households in the Netherlands, 2009-2010

Barbara Schimmer, Anke Lenferink, Anke Lenferink, Peter Schneeberger, Helen Aangenend, Piet Vellema, Jeannine Hautvast, Yvonne van Duynhoven

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    Abstract

    Community Q fever epidemics occurred in the Netherlands in 2007-2009, with dairy goat and dairy sheep farms as the implicated source. The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for seropositivity in dairy goat farmers and their household members living or working on these farms. Sera of 268 people living or working on 111 dairy goat farms were tested for Coxiella burnetii IgG and IgM antibodies using immunofluorescence assay. Seroprevalences in farmers, spouses and children (12-17 years) were 73.5%, 66.7%, and 57.1%, respectively. Risk factors for seropositivity were: performing three or more daily goat-related tasks, farm location in the two southern provinces of the country, proximity to bulk milk-positive farms, distance from the nearest stable to residence of 10 meters or less, presence of cats and multiple goat breeds in the stable, covering stable air spaces and staff not wearing farm boots. Goat farmers have a high risk to acquire this occupational infection. Clinicians should consider Q fever in this population presenting with compatible symptoms to allow timely diagnosis and treatment to prevent severe sequelae. Based on the risk factors identified, strengthening general biosecurity measures is recommended such as consistently wearing boots and protective clothing by farm staff to avoid indirect transmission and avoiding access of companion animals in the goat stable. Furthermore, it provides an evidence base for continuation of the current vaccination policy for small ruminants, preventing spread from contaminated farms to other farms in the vicinity. Finally, vaccination of seronegative farmers and household members could be considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Volume7
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2012

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    Q fever
    Coxiella burnetii
    Q Fever
    Dairies
    dairy goats
    Seroepidemiologic Studies
    Goats
    Netherlands
    seroprevalence
    Farms
    households
    risk factors
    farmers
    farms
    goats
    Vaccination
    vaccination
    protective clothing
    Protective Clothing
    spouses

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    Schimmer, Barbara ; Lenferink, Anke ; Lenferink, Anke ; Schneeberger, Peter ; Aangenend, Helen ; Vellema, Piet ; Hautvast, Jeannine ; van Duynhoven, Yvonne. / Seroprevalence and risk factors for Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) seropositivity in dairy goat farmers' households in the Netherlands, 2009-2010. In: PLoS ONE. 2012 ; Vol. 7, No. 7.
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    abstract = "Community Q fever epidemics occurred in the Netherlands in 2007-2009, with dairy goat and dairy sheep farms as the implicated source. The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence and risk factors for seropositivity in dairy goat farmers and their household members living or working on these farms. Sera of 268 people living or working on 111 dairy goat farms were tested for Coxiella burnetii IgG and IgM antibodies using immunofluorescence assay. Seroprevalences in farmers, spouses and children (12-17 years) were 73.5{\%}, 66.7{\%}, and 57.1{\%}, respectively. Risk factors for seropositivity were: performing three or more daily goat-related tasks, farm location in the two southern provinces of the country, proximity to bulk milk-positive farms, distance from the nearest stable to residence of 10 meters or less, presence of cats and multiple goat breeds in the stable, covering stable air spaces and staff not wearing farm boots. Goat farmers have a high risk to acquire this occupational infection. Clinicians should consider Q fever in this population presenting with compatible symptoms to allow timely diagnosis and treatment to prevent severe sequelae. Based on the risk factors identified, strengthening general biosecurity measures is recommended such as consistently wearing boots and protective clothing by farm staff to avoid indirect transmission and avoiding access of companion animals in the goat stable. Furthermore, it provides an evidence base for continuation of the current vaccination policy for small ruminants, preventing spread from contaminated farms to other farms in the vicinity. Finally, vaccination of seronegative farmers and household members could be considered.",
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    Seroprevalence and risk factors for Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) seropositivity in dairy goat farmers' households in the Netherlands, 2009-2010. / Schimmer, Barbara; Lenferink, Anke; Lenferink, Anke; Schneeberger, Peter; Aangenend, Helen; Vellema, Piet; Hautvast, Jeannine; van Duynhoven, Yvonne.

    In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 7, No. 7, 27.07.2012.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    AU - Schneeberger, Peter

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