Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 37, Number 6, November-December 2006
Page(s) 827 - 833
Published online 15 September 2006
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2006) 827-833
Vet. Res. 37 (2006) 827-833
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006038

Short Note

Shedding routes of Coxiella burnetii in dairy cows: implications for detection and control

Raphaël Guatteoa, François Beaudeaua, Mustapha Berrib, Annie Rodolakisb, Alain Jolyc and Henri Seegersa

a  Unit of Animal Health Management, Veterinary School and INRA, BP 40706, 44307 Nantes Cedex 03, France
b  UR INRA Infectiologie Animale et Santé Publique, INRA Tours, 37380 Nouzilly, France
c  Union Bretonne des Groupements de Défense Sanitaire, BP 110, 6 avenue Edgar Degas, 56000 Vannes, France

(Received 9 March 2006; accepted 23 May 2006; published online 15 September 2006)

Abstract - Reliable detection of Coxiella burnetii shedders is a critical point for the control of the spread of this bacterium among animals and from animals to humans. Coxiella burnetii is shed by ruminants mainly by birth products (placenta, birth fluids), but may also be shed by vaginal mucus, milk, and faeces, urine and semen. However, the informative value of these types of samples to identify shedders under field conditions is unknown. Our aim was then to describe the responses obtained using a real-time PCR technique applied to milk, vaginal mucus and faeces samples taken from 242 dairy cows in commercial dairy herds known to be naturally infected with Coxiella burnetii, and to assess their putative associations. Positive results were found in all types of tested samples even in faeces. No predominant shedding route was identified. Among the shedder cows, 65.4% were detected as shedders by only one route. By contrast, cows with positive results for all three samples were scarce (less than 7%). Testing a cow based on only one type of biological sample may lead to misclassify it with regards to its shedding of Coxiella burnetii and thereby underestimate the risk of bacterial spread within a herd.

Key words: dairy cows / Coxiella burnetii / shedding routes / real-time PCR / Q fever

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2006