Veterinary Public Health Institute

Completed Projects

Q Fever in Switzerland

Q fever in Switzerland: Seroprevalence in small ruminants and risk assessment for humans


Contact person: Judith Hunninghaus
Duration:  2010 - 2012


Q fever is a zoonotic disease and is caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. The most common animal reservoirs are farm animals such as cattle, sheep and goat. Starting in 2007, the Netherlands experienced the largest outbreak of Q fever among humans ever reported, with a total of more than 3500 reported cases. Even though the dimensions of goat and sheep farms in Switzerland differ substantially from the situation in the Netherlands, the question remains how likely a larger outbreak of Q fever is for Switzerland. The aim of the current project is therefore an overall seroprevalence study for sheep and goats and to assess the risk for Q fever in the Swiss human population.