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Q fever and leptospirosis in the dairy farming community and allied workers of Worcestershire
  1. R. J. Henderson
  1. Public Health Laboratory, Worcester


    Sera collected from dairy farmers, their families and farm workers, slaughtermen, artificial inseminators, veterinarians, and a group of doctors and civil servants with no direct connexion with farming were examined for evidence of Q fever or leptospirosis. One thousand and fifty-two sera examined for Q fever yielded 26% of positive results with titres of complement-fixing antibody through 1 in 4 to 1 in 128 and over. On the other hand, 876 sera examined for agglutinating antibody to various leptospirae showed only 0·5% of positive titres of 1 in 80 and over. None of the individuals with positive sera for Q fever had ever been ill with anything resembling Q fever or could remember any ill health in the past; this suggests subclinical infection. One farmer with a high titre against L. copenhageni (icterohaemorrhagiae) gave a history of a recent febrile illness very suggestive of acute leptospirosis. Infection due to leptospirae appeared to be very much less common than that due to C. burneti.

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