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Coxiella burnetii in western barred bandicoots (Perameles bougainville) from Bernier and Dorre Islands in Western Australia

Bennett, M.D., Woolford, L., Banazis, M.J., O'Hara, A.J., Warren, K.S.ORCID: 0000-0002-9328-2013, Nicholls, P.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-7071-3055, Sims, C. and Fenwick, S.G. (2011) Coxiella burnetii in western barred bandicoots (Perameles bougainville) from Bernier and Dorre Islands in Western Australia. EcoHealth, 8 (4). pp. 519-524.

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The aim of this work is to investigate the presence of Coxiella burnetii in Perameles bougainville and their ticks on two islands off Western Australia. Haemaphysalis humerosa, Haemaphysalis ratti, and Haemaphysalis lagostrophi were collected from P. bougainville on Bernier and Dorre Islands from 2005 to 2007; only Amblyomma limbatum was collected from humans over the same interval. One of 13 tick samples and 1 of 12 P. bougainville fecal samples were positive for C. burnetii DNA using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. DNA fragments had >99% similarity to published C. burnetii sequences. Three of 35 P. bougainville sera tested positive for anti-C. burnetii antibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. C. burnetii was found in P. bougainville feces and a H. humerosa tick on Dorre Island and Bernier Island, respectively. This is the first reported use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for screening of P. bougainville sera. The risk of zoonotic Q fever infection for human visitors to these islands is considered relatively low, however, appropriate precautions should be taken when handling western barred bandicoots, their feces and their ticks on Bernier and Dorre Islands.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Grant Number:
  • ARC/LP0455050
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