March 1993

Q Fever in Children

Author Affiliations

From the Departamento de Pediatriá, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(3):300-302. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160270062019

• Objective.  —To describe clinical profiles of Q fever in children.

Design.  —Retrospective study.

Setting.  —Tertiary teaching hospital.

Participants.  —Thirteen children aged 2 to 14 years, with a mean±SD age of 9.6±3.6 years.

Selection Procedures.  —Review of the medical records of all children with Q fever admitted from 1986 to 1990. The diagnosis was made by detection of phase II antibodies to Coxiella burnetii by the complement fixation test.

Measurements/Main Results.  —Clinical profiles consisted of a self-limited illness characterized by high fever (mean±SD, 39.9°C±0.66°C of 5 to 10 days' duration (mean±SD, 7.4±1.6 days), constitutional symptoms, and mild liver dysfunction. Eleven patients had gastrointestinal manifestations (vomiting and/or abdominal pain). Respiratory symptoms were not prominent. Most patients had normal or low white blood cell counts, and seven showed a relative increase of band forms. Their erythrocyte sedimentation rates ranged from 8 to 23 mm/h. All patients did well without specific therapy for C burnetii.

Conclusion.  —In children with the symptoms described above, tests to detect antibodies to C burnetii should be performed.(AJDC. 1993;147:300-302)