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Detecting and measuring small numbers of viable Coxiella burnetii

Lockhart, M., Islam, A., Graves, S., Fenwick, S. and Stenos, J. (2012) Detecting and measuring small numbers of viable Coxiella burnetii. FEMS Immunology & Medical Microbiology, 64 (1). pp. 61-65.

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Coxiella burnetii is an acidophilic, intracellular bacterium that causes the human disease Q fever. In some studies, it is important to distinguish between viable and nonviable C. burnetii. We compared four methods for detecting and measuring viable C. burnetii in biological samples as follows: growth in two different cell culture lines, infection of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice (leading to death) and infection of SCID mice with detection of C. burnetii in their spleen (after euthanasia at day 50 postinfection). Two isolates of C. burnetii were used (Henzerling and Arandale). Our in-house qPCR assay for C. burnetii DNA was used as a control. SCID mouse inoculation was more sensitive than cell culture. The assay that detected C. burnetii in SCID mouse spleens was slightly more sensitive than SCID mice deaths alone. Approximately one viable C. burnetii cell could be detected by this method, making it suitable for determining the viability of C. burnetii in a sample.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Copyright: © 2011 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.
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