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Thread: Q - Fever in Deer. Stalkers beware!

  1. #1

    Q - Fever in Deer. Stalkers beware!

    Hi everyone,

    I have been interested in what may have caused significant numbers of unexplained Roe deer deaths in Denmark, and some Pere David's deer in the Netherlands. After speaking to a couple of friends in the VLA (Veterinary Labotratories Agency), it seems that Q Fever (caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnettii) could be a factor. I believe that it's a notifiable disease in the UK, and that it has resulted in the slaughter of over 35,000 goats in the Netherlands.

    I have another associate in the Netherlands who has been kind enough to supply me with the following data from the Dutch Veterinary Record and their hunting magazine.

    Several scientific reports from South, and East Europe mention Coxiella Burnetii in roe deer, red deer and fallow deer (and wild boar). (percentage seropositive animals up to 30 %!).

    Therefore they’ve done a pilotstudy last huntingseason (beginning 2010). They’ve checked 8 female roedeer, shot in the heart of the Dutch Q-fever area, with PCR (of better value then only ab-tests).

    All 8 were negative! They will do an extended study next year but at the moment they are also performing a retrospective study of material they had “in stock" from previous studies.

    It is felt that ticks might play a role as well.

    I think it is worth all stalkers finding out more about the disease, as if deer are susceptible to it, then it should be taught in all future DSCL1 courses, and in particular the meat hygiene and large game carcass inspection courses.

    I will be posting a free PDF information file about Q Fever which can be downloaded from our website www.jelendeer.com in the next few days. I will also contact my colleague in the VLA for more information as it becomes available, and will post it on this site, as well as other forums and our own website.

    In the meantime I urge all stalkers to find out what they can about the disease, how its transmitted, and the implications regarding UK wild, park and farmed deer (as well as commercial goat farms).

    Regards

    Mike
    (Jelen Deer Services)

  2. #2
    surprised that this has not had more publicity mike ??

  3. #3
    Mike I've had a look on your site for the download PDF but couldn't find it.

    I'd be interested to read it as I contracted Q fever in 80/81 when I was 6, spent nearly 3 weeks in hospital after GP thought I had mumps. Hospital tested bone marrow and took sample of glands from side of my neck.

    Was always under the impression it was a tropical disease, my exposure to it was never traced. Had no contact to deer either.

    Ps think I made a full recovery

  4. #4
    I have no experience with Q fever in deer, but have come across it as a rare cause of ovine abortion. It is a zoonotic organism that is most commonly caught by breathing in spores, that remain resistant in the environment. In the sheep abortion cases I have dealt with the sheep and farm staff were all perfectly well.

    Q fever is NOT a notifiable disease, although being zoonotic would fall under COSH regulations.

    There is a DEFRA info sheet here

    http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm...er-farmers.pdf

    Some VLA info here

    Veterinary Laboratories Agency: Q Fever

    Some human [NHS direct] info here

    Q Fever - NHS Choices

    A PCR test is a very sensitive test that looks for tiny bits of specific DNA, so a very good way of finding if a particular organism is present in the particular sample [the technology is carried over from human forensic science]. A standard antibody test [usually an ELISA] can show if an animal has had previous exposure to a bacteria and may remain positive for some time after infection has been cleared. What test is most appropriate depends on the stage of the disease.

    Just a random aside the Coxiella looks very similar under the microscope to another very common cause of ovine abortion [Chlamydia] and could possibly be confused.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Thanks for that interesting read.

    I remember as a child when all the tests came back and Q fever was the diagnosis my parents were asked if we had been abroad which we hadn't so presume it must have been quite rare in the UK 30 years ago.

  7. #7
    The other half would be pretty suss, on showing a Chlamydia result !
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    I have no experience with Q fever in deer, but have come across it as a rare cause of ovine abortion. It is a zoonotic organism that is most commonly caught by breathing in spores, that remain resistant in the environment. In the sheep abortion cases I have dealt with the sheep and farm staff were all perfectly well.

    Q fever is NOT a notifiable disease, although being zoonotic would fall under COSH regulations.

    There is a DEFRA info sheet here

    http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm...er-farmers.pdf

    Some VLA info here

    Veterinary Laboratories Agency: Q Fever

    Some human [NHS direct] info here

    Q Fever - NHS Choices

    .
    I thought Q-fever was notifiable in Scotland, maybe I read it wrong

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stone View Post
    I thought Q-fever was notifiable in Scotland, maybe I read it wrong
    You must have

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/fa...ase/notifiable

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    yeh, no worries
    just read about it in an article somewhere and found the same info on
    this site
    http://www.documents.hps.scot.nhs.uk...c-diseases.pdf

    The following is the list of zoonotic diseases which are reportable under RIDDOR:
    Anthrax
    Brucellosis
    Avian Chlamydiosis
    Ovine Chlamydiosis
    Leptospirosis
    Lyme Disease
    Q Fever
    Rabies
    Streptococcus suis
    Tetanus
    Tuberculosis

    probably out of date and don't count anymore as it is RIDDOR
    ATB

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