Q fever

Control of the infection of dairy cattle by Coxiella burnetii, the agent of a zoonosis, Q fever.

Coxiella burnetii, agent of a topical zoonosis, Q fever.

The control of Coxiella burnetii excretion by cattle covers several issues:

  • Public health issues: zoonosis, asymptomatic in more than 60% of cases, sometimes serious clinical signs: pneumopathies and hepatitis, cardiovascular and genital disorders (epidemic in the Netherlands since 2007).
  • Animal health issues in Ruminants (main reservoir for human infection): reproductive disorders, leading to a degradation of the productivity of infected animals.
  • Socio-economic issues: potentially leading to a deterioration of the image of the dairy industry.

Research Program

The work carried out covered the period 2006-2010:

  • evaluation of the informational value of infection and shedding detection tools at the individual and herd level 
  • the modalities of bacterial excretion in naturally infected herds 
  • evaluation of the efficacy of a vaccine to prevent shedding of Coxiella burnetii in dairy cattle in infected herds in a partial vaccination trial under good clinical practice 
  • the duration of vaccine immunity 

Work in progress and prospects concern :

  • the evaluation of the effectiveness of different control strategies combining antibiotic therapy and/or vaccination of all or part of the herd in a multicentre trial in 120 dairy cattle herds (support for Anne-Frieda Taurel's thesis)
  • the development of a mathematical model for the propagation and persistence of Coxiella in a dairy cattle herd
  • description of the strains of Coxiella circulating in infected herds, in particular with regard to the different clinical and excretion profiles
  • identification of the major transmission routes of Coxiella burnetii between herds


Scientific partners
UR IASP Nouzilly, ANSES Sophia-Antipolis, Univsersité d’Utrecht (NL), Swedish Veterinary Institute
Public and professional partners
DGAl, GDS du Grand ouest, GTV Bretagne et Pays de Loire, France-Agri-Mer, CNIEL


Raphaël Guatteo
François Beaudeau

Research Program

Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 05 April 2013 | Redactor : AC