Date: 02 Mar 2010

Seroprevalence of Q fever in a district located in the west Black Sea region of Turkey

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Q fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii. In Turkey, it has been reported from the late 1940s that Q fever is endemic in humans and animals. Our objective was to evaluate the seroprevalence in Samsun Tekkeköy (north Turkey), where an outbreak of Q fever occurred in 2002. In this cross-sectional study, subjects were selected by the random proportional sampling method. All subjects were healthy with no specific symptoms and tested by the microimmunofluorescent antibody test. In total, we tested 407 subjects; 33 (8.1%) of them were identified as past evidence of infection and 22 (5.4%) were considered as evolutive form of Q fever (17 acute and five chronic forms). The seroprevalence was significantly higher among people over 30 years of age, hunters, and slaughters than the others (p = 0.001, p = 0.034, and p = 0.006, respectively). We found 13.5% seropositivity among healthy subjects, confirming that Q fever is prevalent in our region and is often asymptomatic.