Q Fever Test for Military Serving Overseas

Author: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Published: 2011/05/22 - Updated: 2022/03/28
Peer-Reviewed: N/A
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Q fever is an infectious disease among serving soldiers and can cause acute or chronic illness after contact with infected animals or exposure to contaminated environments. Q fever bacteria is considered a bio-threat agent in part due to the fact that fewer than 10 organisms need to be inhaled to cause infection and its ability to withstand open environments. If diagnosed early, most people with Q fever fully recover after treatment with appropriate antibiotics. Failure to treat an infection can, however, result in serious chronic illness.

Main Digest

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today cleared the first nucleic acid amplification test to diagnose the early stages of Q fever infections in military personnel serving overseas.

The Chemical Biological Medical System Joint Project Management Office within the U.S. Department of Defense funded the development of this test, which identifies and detects the bacteria that cause Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) within four hours. The test was developed by Idaho Technology Inc.*

Q fever is an emerging infectious disease among U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and worldwide. Q fever can cause acute or chronic illness in humans, who usually acquire infections after contact with infected animals or exposure to contaminated environments.

If diagnosed early, most people with Q fever fully recover after treatment with appropriate antibiotics. Failure to treat an infection can, however, result in serious chronic illness.

The FDA cleared this test to be used on the Defense Department's Joint Biological Agency Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS), a multiple use instrument that can be used for the rapid detection of numerous bacteria and viruses, such as the bacteria that cause Q fever. The test is performed on the JBAIDS instrument and determines if Coxiella burnetii DNA is present in a patient's blood sample. Use of the test is limited to designated Department of Defense laboratories equipped with the JBAIDS.

"It's important that the FDA protect our troops from bio-threats using innovative diagnostics," said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "Q fever bacteria is considered a bio-threat agent in part due to the fact that fewer than 10 organisms need to be inhaled to cause infection and its ability to withstand open environments."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Q fever was first recognized as a human disease in Australia in 1935 and in the United States in the early 1940s. The "Q" stands for "query" at that time, the causative agent was unknown.

* Idaho Technology Inc. is based in Salt Lake City.

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This quality-reviewed publication pertaining to our FDA News and Approvals section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Q Fever Test for Military Serving Overseas" was originally written by U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and submitted for publishing on 2011/05/22 (Edit Update: 2022/03/28). Should you require further information or clarification, U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be contacted at fda.gov. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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