Coxiella burnetii in humans, domestic ruminants, and ticks in rural Western Kenya
Knobel, Darryn Leslie; Maina, Alice N.; Cutler, Sally J.; Ogola, Eric; Feikin, Daniel R.; Junghae, Muthoni; Richards, Allen L.; Breiman, Robert F.; Cleaveland, Sarah; Njenga, M. Kariuki; Halliday, Jo E.B.
We conducted serological surveys for Coxiella burnetii in archived sera from patients that visited a rural
clinic in western Kenya from 2007 to 2008 and in cattle, sheep, and goats from the same area in 2009. We also conducted
serological and polymerase chain reaction-based surveillance for the pathogen in 2009–2010, in human patients with
acute lower respiratory illness, in ruminants following parturition, and in ticks collected from ruminants and domestic
dogs. Antibodies against C. burnetii were detected in 30.9% (N = 246) of archived patient sera and in 28.3% (N =
463) of cattle, 32.0% (N = 378) of goats, and 18.2% (N = 159) of sheep surveyed. Four of 135 (3%) patients with
acute lower respiratory illness showed seroconversion to C. burnetii. The pathogen was detected by polymerase chain
reaction in specimens collected from three of six small ruminants that gave birth within the preceding 24 hours, and
in five of 10 pools (50%) of Haemaphysalis leachi ticks collected from domestic dogs.