In 1938 Davis and Cox1 reported the isolation of a filter-passing infectious agent from Dermacentor andersoni collected near Nine Mile Creek in Montana, and Parker and Davis,2 its experimental transmission by ticks. Cox3 described the rickettsia-like characteristics of the organism associated with the infection, and Dyer4 reported the first case in human beings, which was apparently a laboratory infection. More recently Cox5 has suggested the name Rickettsia diaporica for the causative agent and American Q fever to designate the disease.6
In 1940 Hornibrook and Nelson7 described the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of an outbreak of pneumonitis which occurred among employees of the National Institute of Health at Washington, D. C. Bacteriologic studies carried out by Dyer, Topping and Bengtson8 showed this outbreak to be the rickettsial disease American Q fever. These authors stated that the chief characteristic of this illness was "central
Hesdorffer MB, Duffalo JA. AMERICAN Q FEVER: REPORT OF A PROBABLE CASE. JAMA. 1941;116(17):1901–1902. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.62820170001008
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