Evira’s survey of the presence of antibodies against Q fever in Finnish dairy animals is now completed

8.10.2009

<p>The occurrence of Q fever antibodies in Finnish dairy herds was studied by Evira. A total of 1283 randomly selected bulk milk samples were taken in 2009. Antibodies were detected in samples from two farms situated (0.16 in southern and western Finland. In Sweden, Q-fever antibodies were found in 8.5% of bulk milks samples in 2008.</p>

In addition, 851 dairy herds, which were supposed to have an increased number of abortions according milk recording heath statistics, were examined. 253 of these herds were also included in the study consisting of randomly selected samples. Two farms, located in southern Finland were seropositive (0.24 %). The occurrence of Q fever antibodies in other animal species is unknown in Finland.

Q fever is a disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. It can cause disease both in humans and in animals. Q fever is widely distributed throughout the world with the exception of New Zealand. Q fever is present in almost every animal species. In animals, the disease usually is asymptomatic, but it may cause abortions, weak offsprings and infertility particularly in ruminants.

Majority of human cases are also asymptomatic. In approximately half of the cases self-limited fever, pneumonia or hepatitis may occur. A severe chronic form is also described. Humans acquire infection from animal reservoirs, especially from domestic ruminants (sheep and goats). Human cases are a very rare in Finland.

Read also the publication Animal Health in Finland 2008  (in Finnish)

Read more on Q fever in animals (in Finnish): evira.fi > Eläimet ja terveys > Eläintaudit > Q-kuume

Read more on Q fever in humans (in Finnish): thl.fi > Tietoa terveydestä > Terveys ja sairaus > Infektiotaudit > Eläinten välityksellä tarttuvat taudit > Q-kuume

Additional information:
Senior Researcher Tiina Autio, Production Animal Health Research Unit,
tel. 044 7201 492, tiina.autio at-merkki-kapea.gifevira.fi

 

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