Seroepidemiological survey of Q fever and brucellosis in Kurdistan Province, western Iran

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2014 Jan;14(1):41-5. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2013.1379. Epub 2013 Dec 20.


Given that the there is little information about the current status of brucellosis and Q fever in most parts of Iran, the aim of this study was to assay the seroprevalence of these two diseases in high-risk populations of Kurdistan Province in western Iran. Two hundred fifty sera samples were collected from hunters and their families, butchers, health care workers, and those referred to medical diagnostic laboratories in the southwestern regions of Kurdistan Province. Sera were tested to detect specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against brucellosis and Coxiella burnetii (phase I and II). The seroprevalence of brucellosis and Q fever (C. burnetii IgG phase I and II) was 6.4% and 27.83% (20% and 14.52%), respectively. The highest seroprevalence of Q fever (38%) and brucellosis (12%) was seen in butchers, who handled cattle, sheep, and goats during their work. Age had a significant positive association with Q fever seropositivity (p=0.04). The seroprevalence of Q fever was higher in those people who had been in employment for more than 10 years (21.88%) compared to others (7.79%) (p=0.02). The keeping of animals (p=0.03), hunting and eating the meat of wild animals (p=0.02), and not disinfecting hands and faces after working (for health care workers and butchers) (p=0.02) were risk factors for Q fever seropositivity. This study showed a relatively high seroprevalence of brucellosis and Q fever in high-risk populations of Kurdistan Province. It is suggested that complementary studies be carried out in other parts of western Iran to clarify the epidemiological aspects of these diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood*
  • Brucella / immunology*
  • Brucella / isolation & purification
  • Brucellosis / epidemiology*
  • Brucellosis / microbiology
  • Coxiella burnetii / immunology*
  • Coxiella burnetii / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Occupations
  • Q Fever / epidemiology*
  • Q Fever / microbiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Immunoglobulin G