Q Fever

Description

Q Fever is a zoonotic infection caused by Coxiella burnetii. Infections can occur in man as well as ruminants (e.g. abortion in sheep and goats).

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Q fever ELISA can be used for cattle and sheep only. Use of histopathology and special stains to see causative organisms in fixed placenta is diagnostic. The complement fixation test is not a reliable test for Q Fever and is used only for export certification.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Q fever CFT

Clotted blood (red top tube)

Monday to Friday

Up to 5 days

Q fever ELISA

Clotted blood (red top tube), lithium heparin blood (green top tube)

Thursday and Friday

Up to 5 days

Histopathology

Fixed tissue or aborted foetus

Monday to Friday

Up to 5 days

Histopathology-special stains

Fixed tissue or aborted foetus

Monday to Friday

2-5 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Aborted foetus

  • Sheep/goat foetus and placenta
    • Submit chilled

Blood (with anti-coagulant)

  • 10 ml of blood collected into a lithium heparin treated tube
    • Submitted chilled

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • 10 ml of blood (including at least 2ml of serum) collected into a plain red top tube
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Range of foetal tissues and placental membranes
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin: tissue

Note

Blood samples collected in vacutainer containing separation gel are not suitable for CFT. The high background titres in gel serum samples can result in false positive reactions. Plain tubes are recommended for blood collection.