Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, in domestic sheep flocks from Wyoming, United States

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 Mar;12(3):189-91. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0760. Epub 2011 Oct 24.


Coxiella burnetii, the agent of Q fever, is an intracellular bacterial pathogen. It has a nearly cosmopolitan distribution. We conducted a serological survey of domestic sheep herds for infections with C. burnetii in Wyoming following reports of abortion and open ewes. Based on the serologic evidence, there was no link between reproductive problems and exposure to C. burnetii. However, the overall prevalence of C. burnetii in WY sheep was 7%, which indicates that the agent is present in the environment and could pose a threat to public health.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Coxiella burnetii / immunology*
  • Coxiella burnetii / isolation & purification
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / microbiology
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / veterinary
  • Public Health
  • Q Fever / epidemiology
  • Q Fever / microbiology
  • Q Fever / veterinary*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sheep Diseases / microbiology*
  • Sheep, Domestic
  • Wyoming / epidemiology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial