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Chronic Q fever-related complications and mortality: data from a nationwide cohort.(2018-12-10)Chronic infection with Coxiella burnetii (chronic Q fever) can cause life-threatening conditions such as endocarditis, infected vascular prostheses, and infected arterial aneurysms. We aimed to assess prognosis of chronic Q fever patients in terms of complications and mortality. A large cohort of chronic Q fever patients was assessed to describe complications, overall mortality and chronic Q fever-related mortality. Chronic Q fever-related mortality was expressed as a case fatality rate (number of chronic Q fever-related deaths/number of chronic Q fever patients). Complications occurred in 166 of 439 (38%) chronic Q fever patients: in 61% of proven (153/249), 15% of probable (11/74), and 2% of possible chronic Q fever patients (2/116). Most frequently observed complications were acute aneurysms (14%), heart failure (13%), and non-cardiac abscesses (10%). Overall mortality was 38% (94/249) for proven chronic Q fever patients (median follow-up 3.6 years) and 22% (16/74) for probable chronic Q fever patients (median follow-up 4.7 years). The case fatality rate was 25% for proven (63/249) chronic Q fever patients and 4% for probable (3/74) chronic Q fever patients. Overall survival was significantly lower in patients with complications, compared to those without complications (p <0.001). In chronic Q fever patients, complications occur frequently and contribute to the mortality rate. Patients with proven chronic Q fever have the highest risk of complications and chronic Q fever-related mortality. Prognosis for patients with possible chronic Q fever is favourable in terms of complications and mortality.
A systematic knowledge synthesis on the spatial dimensions of Q fever epidemics.(2019-02-01)From 2007 through 2010, the Netherlands experienced the largest Q fever epidemic ever reported. This study integrates the outcomes of a multidisciplinary research programme on spatial airborne transmission of Coxiella burnetii and reflects these outcomes in relation to other scientific Q fever studies worldwide. We have identified lessons learned and remaining knowledge gaps. This synthesis was structured according to the four steps of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA): (a) Rapid source identification was improved by newly developed techniques using mathematical disease modelling; (b) source characterization efforts improved knowledge but did not provide accurate C. burnetii emission patterns; (c) ambient air sampling, dispersion and spatial modelling promoted exposure assessment; and (d) risk characterization was enabled by applying refined dose-response analyses. The results may support proper and timely risk assessment and risk management during future outbreaks, provided that accurate and structured data are available and exchanged readily between responsible actors.