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Keywords:

  • Australia;
  • companion animals;
  • Coxiella burnetii;
  • dogs;
  • Q fever;
  • Queensland;
  • serology

Objective  Investigate the seroprevalence of the causative agent of Q fever, Coxiella burnetii in domestic dogs in the Townsville region, North Queensland, Australia.

Method  Blood samples were collected from dogs attending veterinary clinics for routine procedures.

Results  An overall seropositivity of 21.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 21.6–22.1%) was observed. A retrospective study of samples collected in the same region during 1984–85 was also performed, with an overall seropositivity of 16.0% (95% CI 15.9–16.2).

Conclusion  Evidence of C. burnetii infection in domestic dogs may have public health implications for dog owners, as well as veterinarians because of occupational exposure. This study is the first known investigation of C. burnetii seroprevalence in dogs in Queensland.