Coxiella burnetii

Categorization
Cell Wall: Gram Negative Shape: Rod
Life Cyle: Spore-forming, Obligate Intracellular Parasite
Virulence Factors
  • Sporulation: Unique among Rickettsial species, C. burnetii forms spores that are resistant to heating and drying, and thus allow extended survival of the organism outside of host cells.
Transmission
  • Due to its capacity to sporulate, C. burnetii transmission is unique among Rickettsial species in that it is not dependent on an arthropod vector. C. burnetii infects a number of mammals and its spores are released in a number of secretions, particularly the placenta. Transmission to humans most commonly occurs in those who work with birthing animals such as vetrinarians and farm workers.
Clinical Consequences
  • Q Fever is characterized by the onset of fever and headaches several weeks after inoculation. An atypical community-acquired pneumonia is observed in many patients; however, skin rash is usually not observed in contrast to most other Rickettsial species.
Treatment
  • Doxycycline