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Occurrence of Coxiella burnetii in goat and ewe unpasteurized cheeses: Screening and genotyping

Galiero, Alessia, Fratini, Filippo, Cammà, Cesare, Di Domenico, Marco, Curini, Valentina, Baronti, Irene, Turchi, Barbara, Cerri, Domenico
International journal of food microbiology 2016 v.237 pp. 47-54
Coxiella burnetii, DNA, Q fever, aerosols, breathing, cattle, cheeses, ewes, excreta, genotype, genotyping, goats, humans, polymerase chain reaction, screening, zoonoses, Italy
Q fever is a zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii which infects humans as well as several animal species; sheep, goats and cattle are the primary animal reservoir. The main route of human exposure to Coxiella burnetii is inhalation of contaminated aerosols from excreta, especially birth products, while the role of unpasteurized dairy products in the transmission of Q fever to humans remains still controversial.The aim of this work was to evaluate the presence of Coxiella burnetii in unpasteurized cheese samples (n=84) by PCR and to genotype the circulating strains by Multispacer sequence typing (MST) analysis.Coxiella burnetii DNA was detected in 27/84 (32.14%) cheeses and positivity rate of handicraft cheeses reached 17.24%, while positivity rate of non-handicraft cheeses reached 65.38%. In addition, the MST profile of Coxiella burnetii detected in 5 cheese samples have shown the circulation of ST12 and ST32 genotypes in Tuscany.