News and Events

Here you can catch up on the latest news from our own research and engagement as well as other Q fever related news from around the world. Please feel free to contact us if you come across other important and relevant news articles about Q fever that you’d like us to cover.

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 Q Fever Group in the media

Other Q Fever Group news

General Q Fever news

 

Catch up on the latest news from the Q fever group, which is investigating Q fever epidemiology in Australia

Q Fever Group members being covered in the media

Multiple Q Fever Group members have published an article in The Conversation that summarises how Australia’s ongoing drought could be increasing the risk of Q fever transmission. They use evidence that Coxiella burnetii spores are very resilient and able to survive in soil or dust for many years to conclude that this bacteria can spread very far during drought, even attaching to dust and travelling 10km or more on winds. This bacteria is also resistant to dehydration and UV radiation, making Australia’s mostly dry climate a very hospitable breeding ground.

Q Fever Group member Associate Professor Jane Heller of Charles Sturt University was interviewed by The Land, a news outlet whose principal aim is to convey news items and relevant information to people whose life and work revolve around agriculture in rural Australia. A/Prof Heller discusses how our industry-research partnership is designed to address major research gaps in Q fever knowledge and help to form a national guideline for an emergency response, should the need arise. Further insight from A/Prof Heller is available in this Queensland and Country Life article.

Q Fever Group member Dr Tabita Tan from The University of Melbourne was interviewed by Dairy News Australia. In this article, Dr Tan explains how high rates of Q fever infection in livestock herds can persist, even without obvious signs of any symptoms in the animals. Dr Tan states that the annual cost of Q fever to the cattle industry amounts to at least $1 million in lost productivity, medical expenses and potential litigation, though this is likely to be a conservative understatement.

 

Other Q Fever Group news items

  • Member of the project’s collaborator team shared Q fever knowledge at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists:
    • Heller, J., Tan, T., Hayes, B., Firestone, S., Stevenson, M., 2019. Responding nationally to a Q Fever outbreak – can we create a plan? In: 2019 Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Science Week Conference Proceedings, Gold Coast, 4-6thJuly 2019, p. 35.
    • Hou, K., Firestone, S., Wiethoelter, A., Stenos, J., Lignereux, L., Clark, N., Steverson, M., 2019. A cross-sectional study of prevalence and risk factors for Coxielle burnettii on dariy goat farms in Australia. In: 2019 Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Science Week Conference Proceedings, Gold Coast, 4-6thJuly 2019, p. 37.
    • Abeykoon, A.M., Clark, N., M, Magalháes, R.J.S, Vincent, G., Stevenson, M., Firestone, S., Wiethoelter, A., 2019. Sampling methods to detect Coxiella burnetii in the environment: a systematic review and critical appraisal of evidence. In: 2019 Australian & New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists Science Week Conference Proceedings, Gold Coast, 4-6thJuly 2019, p. 39.
  • At the 2019 Australian Biosecurity Symposium, Gold Coast, Queensland, 12-13 June 2019, Q Fever Group collaborators hosted a panel discussion: 
    • Heller, J., Glasgow, K., Firestone, S.M. 2019. Are we prepared for a Q Fever outbreak? In: 2019 Australian Biosecurity Symposium Program Abstracts, Gold Coast, 12-13thJune 2019, p. 44.
  • Q Fever Group RHD student, Hasanthi Abeykoon presented her research findings at The Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference, Perth, WA, 5-10 May:
    • Abeykoon, A.M.H., Clark, N.J., Magalháes, R.J.S., Vincent, G.A., Stevenson, M.A., Firestone, S.M., Wiethoelter, A., Sampling methods to detect C. burnetii from the environment: A systematic review. In: Proceedings of AVA Annual Conference, Perth, 5-10th May 2019, p. 9.
  • At the Meeting of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 12-16 November 2018, Q Fever Group collaborators presented:
    • Canevari, J., Firestone, S., Vincent, G., Campbell, A., Cameron, A., Tan, T., Muleme, M., Stevenson, M., 2018. The association between Coxiella burnetii shedding at the time of parturition in dairy goats and daily milk yields produced during the subsequent lactation. In: Proceedings of the 15th Symposium of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 12-16 November 2018, p. 77.
    • Tan, T., 2018. A pilot study of the prevalence of Q fever in cattle, sheep and goats in Victoria, Australia. In: Proceedings of the 15th Symposium of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 12-16 November 2018, p. 223.
  • Q Fever Group collaborators attended, and showcased their latest research findings at Farmsafe Conference, Townsville, 3-5 October 2018:
    • Firestone, S., 2018. Keynote presentation Q-fever: Australia’s silent rural burden: Separating the facts from fiction. In: Farmsafe 2018. Farmsafe Australia, The Ville Resort, Townsville Queensland 3-5 October 2018, p. 26.
    • Tan, T., Firestone, S., Larson, J., Stevenson, M., 2018. The seroprevalence of Q Fever in cattle, sheep and goats in Victoria. In: Farmsafe 2018. Farmsafe Australia, The Ville Resort, Townsville Queensland 3-5 October 2018, p. 28.
  • Project collaborators were pleased to participate in ‘Q fever outbreaks: Identifying, assessing and managing the risk’, panel discussion and scientific presentations at the Sheep, Camelid and Goat Veterinarians Special Interest Group of the Australian Veterinary Association, Melbourne, 12-16 August 2018
  • Additional presentations by Q Fever Group collaborators at the Sheep, Camelid and Goat Veterinarians Special Interest Group of the Australian Veterinary Association, Melbourne, 12-16 August 2018:
    • Firestone, S., Bond, K., Vincent, G., Wilks, C., Franklin, L., Sutton, B., Segal, Y., Stevenson, M., Stenos, J., 2018. Victorian Q fever dairy goat farm outbreak: Key findings from the outbreak investigation. In: ASAV, SCGV and AVBIG Conference 2018: The Abdomen and Beyond, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia, 12-16 August 2018, pp. 204 – 206.
    • Canevari, J., Firestone, S., Vincent, G., Campbell, A., Tan, T., Muleme, M., Cameron, A., Stevenson, M., 2018. Q fever associated milk yield losses in dairy goats. In: ASAV, SCGV and AVBIG Conference 2018: The Abdomen and Beyond, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia, 12-16 August 2018, pp. 200 – 203.
    • Stevenson, M., Tan, T., Muleme, M., Canevari, J., Firestone, S., Vincent, G., Campbell, A., Cameron, A., 2018. What we know and what we need to know about the distribution of Q fever risk in humans and livestock. In: ASAV, SCGV and AVBIG Conference 2018: The Abdomen and Beyond, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, Australia, 12-16 August 2018, pp. 300 – 304.
    • Vincent, G., 2018. Efforts to develop an autogenous Q fever vaccine. In: ASAV, SCGV and AVBIG Conference 2018: The Abdomen and Beyond, Melbourne Convention Centre, Melbourne, 12-16 August 2018, Australia, p. 337.
  • Collaborators presentations by the Q Fever Group collaborators at the 2018 Annual Meeting of The Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists:
    • Canevari, J., Firestone, S., Stevenson, M., 2018. The hokey pokey model of Q fever on farm transmission dynamics. In: Meeting of the Epidemiology Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 5-7 July 2018
    • Canevari, J., Firestone, S., Vincent, G., Campbell, A., Tan, T., Muleme, M., Cameron, A., Stevenson, M., 2018. The prevalence of dairy goats shedding Coxiella burnetiiat the time of parturition in an endemically infected herd and associated milk yield losses. In: Meeting of the Epidemiology Chapter of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, 5-7 July 2018.
  • SE Queensland goat farm bus tour after Australian Veterinary Association Conference, Friday 18 May 2018. Organised by Sheep Goat Camelid SIG of the AVA
  • Q Fever Research News, Veterinary Careers, 17 Dec 2017 http://veterinarycareers.com.au/q-fever-research-news/
  • Research to minimise Q fever outbreaks, Vet Practice Magazine, 13 Oct 2016: https://vetpracticemag.com.au/research-minimise-q-fever-outbreaks/
  • Research to minimise Q fever outbreaks, UQ News, 10 Oct 2016: https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2016/10/research-minimise-q-fever-outbreaks
  • National Workshop to Identify Q Fever Knowledge Gaps and Research Needs, Melbourne, 15-16 April 2015

General Q fever news

Updated national guidelines for Q fever management in Australia

An updated Series of National Guidelines (SoNG) document outlining approaches for diagnosing, treating and managing Q fever in Australia have been issued by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia. This document gives a very thorough overview of the issues that Q fever poses for Australian livestock communities, and also goes into some of the technical aspects of Q fever diagnosis.

The Series of National Guidelines (SoNGs) have been developed in consultation with the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Calls for Q fever vaccination and awareness

October 30, 2019: The Sydney Morning Herald – Drought conditions increase Q fever risk in parts of Queensland and NSW

August 27, 2019: The Weekend Australian – Put Q fever vaccine on PBS: farmers

July 24, 2019: The Weekend Australian – Farmers in drought-stricken areas are dying from Q fever, a rural leader has claimed

May 13, 2019: The North West Star – QCWA (Queensland Country Women’s Association) leads the fight against the dangers of Q Fever

March 9, 2019: ABC News – Q fever rates in blood donor samples prompt vaccination recommendation

February 1, 2019: The Land – NSW Farmers launch petition to reinstate National Q Fever Management Program

February, 2019: NSWFarmers – Q fever health crisis: time to fight rural discrimination

 

Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic bacterium that causes disease in humans
Q fever bacteria growing inside a vacuole. Source: Wikimedia Commons