The Zoonoses

Q Fever (Coxiella Burnetii):

..causes abortion in ewes, goats and probably cows and stillbirth / abortion in humans.

spread by: (A)tick, (B)aerosol (at lambing or cats having kittens) (C) Inhaling cowpats

Symptoms: fever (NB PUO), sweats, pneumonia (usually lobar), hepatitis, endocarditis, wt loss, abortion.

Diagnosis: paired sera (may take 3 weeks for conversion)

Treatment: tetracycline.

Prevention: check for ticks, wear a spotted handkerchief when lambing, don't inhale cowpats; enceintes beware cat or sheep parturition.

Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii - a protozoon)

..occurs in all mammals (esp cats, but major cause of abortion in cows/ewes) and birds.

Caught by: undercooked beef or mutton, via oocysts in cat faeces - soil or via insects to contaminate food, transplacental to foetus - stillbirth/abortion.

Symptoms: fever, malaise, lymphadenopathy, choroiditis (even blindness), encephalitis, hepatitis.

Treat: daraprim.

NB: enceintes should not handle cat litter.

Lyme disease (Borrelia Burgdorferi - a spirochaete)

Primary host: sheep, deer, red grouse. Vector: the hard tick Ixodes Ricinus

But Note: infected ticks can live on dogs!

Symptoms (syphilis-like!):

1. Primary: PUO, Erythema Chronica Migrans; often asymptomatic

2.C.N.S. (30%): Bell's palsy (esp bilateral) Optic neuritis, aseptic meningitis, dementia, coma and death.

Diagnosis: paired sera - if neg repeat in 3 weeks. Immunofluorescent studies.

Prevention: avoid ticks, remove with alcohol.

Treatment: Tetracycline (60 days). i.v.penicillin

ETBA (European Tick Borne Encephalitis):

..arborvirus spread by hard tick (Ixodes Ricinus) from wild deer, hedgehogs, squirrels,, wild boar, birds but also from raw milk.

Hanta Virus Infections

(related to Ebola and Lassa Fever)

from exposure to excreta of wild rodents - in UK the Red Bankvole

Symptoms: fever, cough, painful nephritis, painful eyes, blurred vision, acute glaucoma (25%), thrombocytopaenia; ie like leptospirosis

incubn is 1 - 6 weeks

Zoonotic Causes of PUO: brucellosis, Q Fever, Toxoplasmosis, Listeriosis, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, Loupingell, Salmonella, Chlamydia Psittaci.

Zoonotic Causes of hepatitis: hydatid, Q Fever, Toxoplasmossi, Chlamydia Psittaci

Zoonotic Causes of acquired Valvular Disease: Chlamydia Psit, Lyme, Q Fever


Adrian McCracken, GP Worcester