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Detection of Coxiella burnetii specific DNA in blood samples from Japanese patients with chronic nonspecific symptoms by nested polymerase chain reaction

  [ 35 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Kato K, Arashima Y et al. • • June 5, 1998

The nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for direct
species- specific detection of Coxiella burnetii in blood
samples from 52 patients with chronic nonspecific symptoms,
but no diagnostic or treatment history of Q fever. All
patients had been in ill-health with general fatigue, muscle
and joint pain, headache, etc., for one to more than 10 years.
Seventeen (33%) showed evidence of C. burnetii infection,
based on amplification of 438-bp fragments specific to C.
burnetii by nested PCR, and 94% of positive patients reported
close contact with animals. In contrast, five (9.6%) of 52
samples from healthy adult controls and two (2.8%) of 70 cord
blood samples were positive by nested PCR. These data suggest
a high prevalence of infection among adult patients with long
term, nonspecific complaints who live in close contact with
animals and the possible existence of a chronic post-acute Q
fever syndrome in Japan.

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