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Seroprevalence of horses to Coxiella burnetii in an Q fever endemic area

Desjardins I., Joulié A., Pradier S., Lecollinet S., Beck C., Vial L., Dufour P., Gasqui P., Legrand L., Edouard S., Sidi-Boumedine K., Rousset E., Jourdain E., Leblond A.. 2018. Veterinary Microbiology, 215 : p. 49-56.

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2017.11.012

Coxiella burnetii can infect many animal species, but its circulation dynamics in and through horses is still unclear. This study evaluated horse exposure in an area known to be endemic for ruminants and humans. We assessed antibody prevalence in horse serum by ELISA, and screened by qPCR horse blood, ticks found on horses and dust from stables. Horse seroprevalence was 4% (n¿=¿335, 37 stables) in 2015 and 12% (n¿=¿294, 39 stables) in 2016. Of 199 horses sampled both years, 13 seroconverted, eight remained seropositive, and one seroreverted. Seropositive horses were located close to reported human cases, yet none displayed Q fever-compatible syndromes. Coxiella DNA was detected in almost 40% of collected ticks (n¿=¿59/148 in 2015; n¿=¿103/305 in 2016), occasionally in dust (n¿=¿3/46 in 2015; n¿=¿1/14 in 2016) but never in horse blood. Further studies should be implemented to evaluate if horses may be relevant indicators of zoonotic risk in urban and suburban endemic areas.

Mots-clés : coxiella burnetii; cheval; fièvre q; enquête pathologique; sérologie; anticorps; identification; morbidité; test elisa; pcr; zoonose; maladie de l'homme; analyse du risque

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