Prevalence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) in children in The Gambia, West Africa

Wim van der Hoek, Ramu Sarge-Njie, Tineke Herremans, Thomas Chisnall, Joseph Okebe, Eniyou Oriero, Bart Versteeg, Bart Goossens, Marianne van der Sande, Beate Kampmann, Davis Nwakanma

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii (Q fever) among children in eight villages in The Gambia, West Africa.

METHODS: Sera of 796 children aged 1-15 years were tested for presence of antibodies against phase II of C. burnetii by ELISA.

RESULTS: IgG and/or IgM phase II antibodies against C. burnetii were detectable in 8.3% (66/796) of all serum samples analysed with significant differences in seroprevalence between villages. Highest prevalence was found in the age group 1-4 years.

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to C. burnetii is considerable in the early years of life in The Gambia, and further studies are warranted to estimate the role of Q fever in acute febrile illness in The Gambia and elsewhere in Africa.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)850-853
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2013


  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Antibodies/blood
  • Antibodies, Bacterial/blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coxiella burnetii/immunology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Gambia/epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G/blood
  • Immunoglobulin M/blood
  • Male
  • Q Fever/blood
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


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