Q fever case definition

This document contains the case definitions for Q fever which is nationally notifiable within Australia. This definition should be used to determine whether a case should be notified.

Page last updated: 12 March 2004

Australian national notifiable diseases case definitions - Q fever


Only confirmed cases should be notified.

Confirmed case

A confirmed case requires either:

1. Laboratory definitive evidence


2. Laboratory suggestive evidence AND clinical evidence.

Laboratory definitive evidence

1. Detection of Coxiella burnetii by nucleic acid testing


2. Seroconversion or significant increase in antibody level to Phase II antigen in paired sera tested in parallel in absence of recent Q fever vaccination


3. Detection of C. burnetii by culture (note this practice should be strongly discouraged except where appropriate facilities and training exist.)

Laboratory suggestive evidence

Detection of specific IgM in the absence of recent Q fever vaccination.

Clinical evidence

A clinically compatible disease.

In this section