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- The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,
Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii Antibodies among Ruminants and Occupationally Exposed People in Thailand, 2012–2013
Little is known about the burden of Q fever in Thailand. We conducted a serological study to describe the prevalence of anti‐Coxiella burnetii antibodies among ruminants and occupationally exposed persons in response to the report of the first two Q fever endocarditis patients in Thailand in 2012. We randomly selected ruminant sera from brucellosis surveillance and examined sera of 661 occupationally exposed subjects from two provinces of Thailand: Chiangmai and Nakornratchasima. Animal and human sera were tested using commercial enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Environmental samples, vaginal swab, and milk from cows in Chiangmai farms with detectable anti‐C. burnetii serum antibodies were tested using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Among the 1,632 animal sera tested, 64 (3.9%) were seropositive. The prevalence was highest in dairy cattle (4.6%, 45/988), followed by goats (3.5%, 18/516) and sheep (2.1%, 1/48). The prevalence of anti‐C. burnetii antibodies in each species varied significantly by province: the prevalence in cattle was higher in Chiangmai (5.5% versus 0%), however, the prevalence in sheep and goats was higher in Nakornratchasima (5.9% versus 1.0%). Four out of 60 milk samples were positive by PCR (6.7%). No environmental samples were positive. Among 661 human samples, 83 (12.6%) were ELISA positive. Seroprevalence was statistically higher in Chiangmai compare with Nakornratchasima (42.8% versus 3.0%). Coxiella burnetii infection exists in Thailand, but the prevalence varies by geographic distribution and animal reservoirs. Further studies focusing on the burden and risk factors of C.burnetii infection among high-risk groups should be conducted.