Molecular prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in milk in Iran: a systematic review and meta-analysis

  • Saber Esmaeili
  • Ashraf Mohabati MobarezEmail author
  • Mohammad Khalili
  • Ehsan Mostafavi
  • Pardis Moradnejad
Regular Articles


Q fever is a major zoonotic disease in the world. The aim of this meta-analysis was to estimate the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii in animal milk in Iran. We systematically reviewed the literature to identify eligible studies from January 2008 to June 2016 in English or Farsi (Persian) databases. We extracted the molecular prevalence of C. burnetii in milk from cows, goats, sheep, and camels in Iran. The total prevalence of C. burnetii in cow milk was 15.09% (95% CI 11.08–19.10) by PCR methods. The highest and lowest prevalence of Q fever agent were seen in the East Azerbaijan (25.55%) and Khorasan-Razavi (4.22%) provinces, respectively. The molecular prevalence of C. burnetii in goat milk was 7.80% (95% CI 3.54–12.07%). The provinces of Qom (0%) and Lorestan (44.71%) had the lowest and the highest frequency of C. burnetii infection in goat’s milk, respectively. Total prevalence of C. burnetii in sheep milk was 3.79% (95% CI 0.72–6.87%). The highest frequency of C. burnetii in sheep milk was detected in the Khorasan-Razavi province (34.78%). The frequency of C. burnetii in camel milk was 1.43%. High infection of C. burnetii in milk is an important health problem in Iran, amplified by the traditional preparations of dairy products.


Coxiella burnetii Q fever Animal Iran Milk Dairy 



This study has been approved and supported by Tarbiat Modares University. Also, we would like to express our gratitude to Dr Fahimeh Bagheri Amiri (specialist in epidemiology) for her help in study design and data analysis.

Funding information

This work was supported financially by Tarbiat Modarres University (Tehran, Iran) as a PhD thesis and Iranian National Scientific Foundation (INSF; Contracted No. 91004716).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saber Esmaeili
    • 1
  • Ashraf Mohabati Mobarez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mohammad Khalili
    • 2
  • Ehsan Mostafavi
    • 3
    • 4
  • Pardis Moradnejad
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Bacteriology, Faculty of Medical SciencesTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineShahid Bahonar University of KermanKermanIran
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and BiostaticsPasteur Institute of IranTehranIran
  4. 4.National Reference Laboratory of Plague, Tularemia and Q Fever, Research Centre for Emerging and Reemerging Infectious DiseasesPasteur Institute of IranKabudar-AhangIran
  5. 5.Rajaie Cardiovascular Medical and Research CenterIran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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