Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in bulk milk and blood serum and associations with reproductive indices in cow dairy herds of Central and Northern Greece

Published: Nov 13, 2017
Coxiella burnetii antibodies reproduction cow

 For the first time in Greece, we investigated the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in milk and sera from dairy cattle herds located at central and northern parts of the country. Eighty herds were initially voluntary enrolled in the study and a bulk milk sample from each farm was assayed by ELISA for C burnetii antibodies. According to antibody titre, herds were classified into 5 categories: negative and grades 1,2,3 and 4 (ascending scale). To assess the prevalence within farms, two herds from each category were selected and blood samples were collected for antibody assessment. In these herds, some reproductive indices were compared between farms; in addition, comparisons were made in paired seropositive and seronegative animals from one grade 3 herd. Twenty three herds (35%) were found positive, 21 being in categories 3 and 4. The prevalence of seropositive animals between herds varied from 4.9 to 46.3%, even from farms initially characterized as negative, some positive animals were detected. Between farms, no differences were detected in the abortion rate or in the mean number of artificial inseminations (AI) per pregnancy. Some differences were found in other reproductive indices that were impossible to be biologically interpreted under the light of C. burnetii level of infection. From the results presented here, we infer that C. burnetii infection is likely asymptomatic in dairy cows causing minimal -if any- economic losses to farmers. However, since the disease is a zoonotic one, its spread can easily occur, a systematic surveillance, in all ruminant species, for the restriction or eradication of the disease should be undertaken in national level.

Article Details
  • Section
  • Research Articles
Download data is not yet available.
Agger JF, Christoffersen AB, Rattenborg E, Nielsen J, Agerholm JS (2010) Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in Danish dairy herds. Acta Vet Scan :52:5
Antoniou M, Tselentis Y, Babalis T, Gikas A, Stratigakis N, Vlachonikolis I, Kafatos A, Fioretos M (1995) The seroprevalence of ten zoonoses in two villages of Crete, Greece. Eur J Epidemiol
Arricau Bouvery N. Souriau A, Lechopier P, Rodolakis A (2003) Experimental Coxiella burnetii infection in pregnant goats: excretion routes. Vet Res 34:423-33
Arricau-Bouvery N, Hauck Y, Bejaoui A, Frangoulidis D, Bodier CC, Souriau A, Meyer H, Neubauer H, Rodolakis A, Vergnaud G (2006) Molecular characterization of Coxiella burnetii isolates by infrequent restriction site-PCR and MLVA typing. BMC Microbiol 6:38.
Behymer DE, Biberstein EL, Riemann HP, Franti CE, Sawyer M, Ruppanner R, Crenshaw GL (1976) Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) investigations in dairy cattle: challenge of immunity after vaccination. Am J Vet Res 37:631-4.
Bildfell RJ, Thomson GW, Haines DM, McEwen BJ, Smart Ν (2000) Coxiella burnetii infection is associated with placentitis in cases of bovine abortion. J Vet Diagn Invest 12:419-25.
Burnet, F. M.; Freeman, M (1937) Experimental studies on the virus of Q fever. Med J Aus 2,299-302.
Cabassi CS, Taddei S, Donofrio G, Ghidini F, Piancastelli C, Flammini CF, Cavirani S (2006) Association between Coxiella burnetii seropositivity and abortion in dairy cattle of Northern Italy.
New Microbiol 29:211-4.
Cox, H (1938) R.A filter passing infectious agent isolated from ticks.III. Description of the organism and cultivation experiments. 53, pp. 2270-6.
Fournier PE, Marrie TJ, Raoult D (1998) Diagnosis of Q fever. J Clin Microbiol 36:1823-34.
Gikas A, Kokkini S, Tsioutis C (2010) Q fever: clinical manifestations and treatment. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 8:529-39.
Hansen MS, Rodolakis A, Cochonneau D, Agger JF, Christoffersen AB, Jensen TK, Agerholm JS (2011) Coxiella burnetii associated placental lesions and infection level in parturient cows. Vet J (in press)
Hartzell JD, Wood-Morris RN, Martinez LJ, Trotta RF (2008) Q fever: epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment. Mayo Clin Proc 83:574-9.
Hilbink F, Penrose M, Kovacova E, Kazar J (1993) Q fever is absent from New Zealand. Int J Epidemiol 22:945-9.
Hirai K, and To H (1998) Advances in the understanding of Coxiella burnetii infection in Japan. J Vet Med Sci 60:781-90.
Jones RM, Twomey DF, Hannon S, Errington J, Pritchard GC, Sawyer J (2010) Detection of Coxiella burnetii in placenta and abortion samples from British ruminants using real-time PCR. Vet Ree 18,167: 965-7.
Kim SG, Kim EH, Lafferty CJ, Dubovi E (2005) Coxiella burnetii in bulk tank milk samples, United States. Emerg Infect Dis 11:619-21.
Kim WJ, Hahn TW, Kim DY, Lee MG, Jung KS, Ogawa M, Kishimoto T, Lee ME, Lee SJ (2006) Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii infection in dairy cattle and non-symptomatic people for routine health screening in Korea. J Korean Med Sci 21:823-6.
Lang GH (1988) Serosurvey on the occurrence of Coxiella burnetii in Ontario cattle Can J Public Health 28;79:56-9.
Lange S, Sollner H, Dittmar H, Hofmann J, Lange A (1992) Q fever antibody titre-follow-up study in cattle with special reference to pregnancy. Beri Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 105:260-3.
Maurin M, Raoult D (1999) Q fever. Clin Microbiol Rev 12:518-53.
Mazokopakis EE, Karefilakis CM, Starakis IK (2010) Q fever endocarditis. Infect Disord Drug Targets 10:27-31.
Miller J D, Shaw E I, Thompson HA (2006) Q fever, and bioterrorism. In: Microorganisms and Bioterrorism, Anderson, B., Friedman, H. Bendinelli, M.(eds) Sprinkerlink NY USA 181-200.
Oyston PC, Davies C. Q fever: the neglected biothreat agent (2011) J Med Microbiol 60:9-21.
Paiba GA, Green LE, Lloyd G, Patel D, Morgan KL (1999) Prevalence of antibodies to Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) in bulk tank milk in England and Wales. Vet Ree 8;144:519-22.
Pape M, Bouzalas EG, Koptopoulos GS, Mandraveli K, Arvanitidou-Vagiona M, Nikolaidis P, Alexiou-Daniel S (2009) The serological prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in sheep and
goats in northern Greece. Clin Microbiol Infect 15 Suppl 2:146-7.
Rodolakis A (2009) Q Fever in dairy animals. Ann Ν Y Acad Sci 1166:90-3.
Rodolakis A, Berri M, Hechard C, Caudron C, Souriau A, Bodier CC, Blanchard Β, Camuset Ρ, Devillechaise Ρ, Natorp JC (2007) Comparison of Coxiella burnetii shedding in milk of dairy bovine, caprine, and ovine herds. J Dairy Sci 90:5352-60.
Schalch L, Russo Ρ, Sa CD. (1998) Combined testing of ruminant serum samples for Chlamydia psittaci and Coxiella burnetii antibodies by ELISA. In: Proceedings of the 6th Congress FeMeSPRum, Slovenia: pp 514-8.
Tselentis Y, Gikas A, Kofteridis D, Kyriakakis E, Lydataki N, Bouros D, Tsaparas Ν (1995) Q fever in the Greek Island of Crete: epidemiologic, clinical, and therapeutic data from 98 cases. ClinInfect Pis 20:1311-6.
Van der Brom R, Vellema Ρ (2009) Q fever outbreaks in small ruminants and people in the Netherlands. Small Rum Res 86:74-9.
Most read articles by the same author(s)