Prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies in blood donors in Ankara, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Kilic S., Yilmaz G. , Komiya T., Kurtoglu Y., Karakoc E. A.

NEW MICROBIOLOGICA, vol.31, no.4, pp.527-534, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Title of Journal : NEW MICROBIOLOGICA
  • Page Numbers: pp.527-534


The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii antibodies among blood donors and to examine the epidemiological characteristics of C. burnetii infection in Ankara, Turkey A total of 601 serum samples were collected from blood donors aged 18-61 years. Donor samples were stratified by age, sex, and residence (rural or urban). IgG and IgM antibodies to the C burnetii phase II antigen were determined using a commercial ELISA. Blood samples reactive in the ELISA were also analysed using a commercial indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). The prevalence of anti-phase II IgG was 32.3%, and 17 (2.8%) were IgM positive. Seropositivity in men was higher than in women (33.2% vs. 21.7%, OR: 1.88;95% CI: 0.88-4.14) and the difference in seroprevalence rates between genders was not related to occupational exposure to domestic animals. 87.6% of seropositive donors reported no contact with farm animals. Our results revealed that C burnetii infection is highly endemic in Ankara and that the majority of seropositive cases are not linked to specific occupational exposure in this area. In conclusion, the high rate of C. burnetii phase II antibodies among blood donors is a reflection of the high prevalence of Q fever in this area of Turkey and indicates the need for further studies, not only to determine the risk of trans fusion-transmitted Q fever, but also to elucidate the epidemiology of Q fever in Turkey. These studies should be conducted through improved collaboration between the veterinary and medical services.