Q Fever : A Neglected Zoonosis
Q fever remains a neglected zoonosis in many developing countries including Pakistan. The causing agent Coxiella (C.) burnetii is resistant to environmental factors (such as drying, heat and many disinfectants), resulting in a long-lasting infection risk for both human and animals. As the infection is usually asymptomatic, it mostly remains undiagnosed in animals until and unless adverse pregnancy outcomes occur in a herd. In humans, the infection leads to severe endocarditis and vascular infection in chronic cases. Limited data are available on molecular epidemiology and evolution of this pathogen, especially in ruminants. Genomic studies will help speculating outbreak relationships in this scenario. Likewise, pathogenesis of C. burnetii needs to be explored by molecular studies. Awareness programs and ensuring pasteurization of the dairy milk before human consumption would help preventing Q fever zoonosis.