Image of the Week: Coxiella burnetti

This week’s image is of Coxiella burnetti, a HHS select agent and the causative bacteria of Q fever. The bacteria is primarily found in farm animals, and can be passed along through infected milk and in waste products, although the greatest number of bacteria are shed during birthing. Q fever has an incubation period of 2-3 weeks, with 50% of cases remaining asymptomatic. The disease presents with fever, myalgia, as well as broad GI symptoms. Acute forms of the disease can be much more severe, including symptoms affecting the central nervous system.

coxiella burnetti(image: Kat Masback/NIAID)

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