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The European Union One Health 2021 Zoonoses Report

Q Fever – Key Facts

  • In 2021, the number of confirmed cases of human Q fever was 460 corresponding to an EU notification rate of 0.11 per 100,000 population. This is a decrease of 12.0% compared with the rate in 2020 (0.12 per 100,000 population).
  • Compared with the rate before the COVID-19 pandemic (2017–2019 annual mean), there was a decrease of 38.8% and 45.8% with or without data from the United Kingdom
  • Over the past 5 years (2017–2021), a significant decreasing trend (p < 0.05) in the number of Q fever cases was observed.
  • In 2021, Q fever cases occurred from April to September, in line with the spring/summer seasonal pattern. Cases were highest for the 50–55 years age group.
  • In animals, cattle and small ruminants were mostly sampled during clinical investigations and passive monitoring of animals suspected to be infected with Coxiella burnetii. However, in the absence of harmonised reporting data in animals in the EU, the data reported to EFSA cannot be used to analyse spatial representativeness and trends over the years for Q fever at the EU level or to compare differences among reporting countries.
  • In total, 17 MSs (15 in 2020) and five non-MSs (six in 2020) reported 2021 data for
    C. burnetii. The proportion of positive animals with direct tests was 5.9% in sheep (8.7% in 2020), 16.5% in goats (11.3% in 2020) and 5.2% in cattle (3.8% in 2020).The proportion of positive herds with direct tests was 4.1% in sheep (1.4% in 2020), 2.0% in goats (1.2% in 2020) and 4.8% in cattle (6.7% in 2020). The proportion of seropositive animals was 10.3% in sheep (11.4% in 2020), 24.6% in goats (25.0% in 2020) and 12.2% in cattle (9.6% in 2020). The proportion of seropositive herds was 18.9% in sheep (5.9% in 2020), 50.0% in goats (78.7% in 2020) and 15.1% in cattle (14.4% in 2020). Results from various other domestic
    and wild animal species were reported and only Italy reported positive results, mainly from dogs (73.2% out of 541) and water buffalos (4.7% out of 43).

Adapted from European Union One Health 2021 Zoonoses Report, © European Food Safety Authority.

EFSA Journal 2022;20(12):7666, DOI: The European Union One Health 2021 Zoonoses Report
Q Fever – Key Facts

• In 2021, the number of confirmed cases of human Q fever was 460 corresponding to an EU notification rate of 0.11 per 100,000 population. This is a decrease of 12.0% compared with the rate in 2020 (0.12 per 100,000 population).
• Compared with the rate before the COVID-19 pandemic (2017–2019 annual mean), there was a decrease of 38.8% and 45.8% with or without data from the United Kingdom
• Over the past 5 years (2017–2021), a significant decreasing trend (p < 0.05) in the number of Q fever cases was observed.
• In 2021, Q fever cases occurred from April to September, in line with the spring/summer seasonal pattern. Cases were highest for the 50–55 years age group.
• In animals, cattle and small ruminants were mostly sampled during clinical investigations and passive monitoring of animals suspected to be infected with Coxiella burnetii. However, in the absence of harmonised reporting data in animals in the EU, the data reported to EFSA cannot be used to analyse spatial representativeness and trends over the years for Q fever at the EU level or to compare differences among reporting countries.
• In total, 17 MSs (15 in 2020) and five non-MSs (six in 2020) reported 2021 data for
C. burnetii. The proportion of positive animals with direct tests was 5.9% in sheep (8.7% in 2020), 16.5% in goats (11.3% in 2020) and 5.2% in cattle (3.8% in 2020).The proportion of positive herds with direct tests was 4.1% in sheep (1.4% in 2020), 2.0% in goats (1.2% in 2020) and 4.8% in cattle (6.7% in 2020). The proportion of seropositive animals was 10.3% in sheep (11.4% in 2020), 24.6% in goats (25.0% in 2020) and 12.2% in cattle (9.6% in 2020). The proportion of seropositive herds was 18.9% in sheep (5.9% in 2020), 50.0% in goats (78.7% in 2020) and 15.1% in cattle (14.4% in 2020). Results from various other domestic
and wild animal species were reported and only Italy reported positive results, mainly from dogs (73.2% out of 541) and water buffalos (4.7% out of 43).
Adapted from European Union One Health 2021 Zoonoses Report, © European Food Safety Authority).

EFSA Journal 2022;20(12):7666, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2022.7666
Author: European Food Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EFSA and ECDC), Q Fever, p. 222 – 230, published 13th December 2022

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