Study of the distribution of Coxiella burnetii infection in small ruminant farms in the Balearic Islands by taking environmental samples.

  • Start of project: 2 August 2021
  • End of project: 1 February 2023
  • Funding: Balearic Islands Agricultural and Fisheries Guarantee Fund (FOGAIBA). Aid for applied research in agriculture, livestock and fisheries in the Balearic Islands.
  • Budget: 17.000 €.

The development of this project will provide an overview of the situation of Q fever in sheep and goats in the Balearic Islands and will identify the risks associated with the type of farm and the type of management. Likewise, this global vision of the infection status in the Balearic Islands will also allow a first approximation of the risk of Coxiella burnetti in milk and dairy products made from raw milk. Strain characterisation will contribute to the elaboration of a map of the distribution of C. burnetii genotypes in the eastern part of Spain, which is less studied in these aspects.

The joint analysis of the characterisation data and the environmental setting in which each variant of C. burnetii develops will make it possible to describe epidemiological aspects of great interest, both in terms of the host-microorganism relationship and the natural cycle of this agent. This may contribute to better control and prevention of Q fever. The identification of genotypes involved in Coxiella burnetti infections will also help to establish possible links with outbreaks of human Q fever and improve control by public health services.