Q fever is caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii. C. burnetii infects wild and domestic animals, and their ticks. Humans are mainly infected from cattle, sheep and goats.
Q fever vaccine is recommended for adolescents aged ≥15 years and adults who are at risk of infection with C. burnetii.
People are recommended to have both serological and skin tests before Q fever vaccination.
Risk factors for Q fever
People who work with cattle, sheep and goats are most at risk of catching Q fever.
Q fever vaccine is recommended for adolescents aged ≥15 years and adults who are at risk of infection with C. burnetii. These include:
- abattoir workers
- stockyard workers
- animal transporters
- veterinary nurses
- veterinary students
- professional dog and cat breeders
- agricultural college staff and students
- wildlife and zoo workers who work with high-risk animals
- animal refuge workers
- laboratory workers who handle veterinary specimens or work with C. burnetii
- other people exposed to high-risk animals
See also Recommended vaccines for people at increased risk of certain occupationally acquired vaccine-preventable diseases, in Vaccination for people at occupational risk.
Australian immunisation handbook – Q fever
The Better Health Channel consumer fact sheet