Coxiella burnetii in humans, domestic ruminants, and ticks in rural Western Kenya

Darryn L. Knobel, Alice N. Maina, Sally J. Cutler, Eric Ogola, Daniel R. Feikin, Muthoni Junghae, Jo E.B. Halliday, Allen L. Richards, Robert F. Breiman, Sarah Cleaveland, M. Kariuki Njenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-518
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Parasitology


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