Q Fever

This rickettsial infection is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetti and is transmitted to humans during contact with infected parturient products, tick bites, and ingestion of infected dairy products. Cattle, sheep, and goats are considered the primary reservoirs from which human infections occur. Human infections have been described worldwide and infections during pregnancy have been associated with abortion, stillbirth, low birthweight, and preterm labor. Atypical pneumonia and hepatitis are common presentations. A review of reported cases found two-thirds of untreated cases during the first trimester resulted in fetal death, while infection during the second trimester was associated with pre-term labor. Primary infection during the first 6 months of pregnancy is also associated with chronic infection. Long-term co-trimoxazole treatment can prevent fetal death but not the development of chronic infection. The overall contribution of Q Fever to poor pregnancy outcomes is unknown. Other rickettsial infections, such as Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever, have not been associated with poor pregnancy outcomes (51-54).

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