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Particulate matter strongly associated with human Q fever in The Netherlands: an ecological study

  • M. REEDIJK (a1), J. P. G. VAN LEUKEN (a1) (a2) and W. VAN DER HOEK (a1)

Summary

There are still questions about the importance of different animal reservoirs and environmental factors that played a role in the large Q fever epidemic in The Netherlands. We therefore investigated the spatial association between reported Q fever cases and different livestock and environmental factors at the national level. A spatial regression analysis was performed, with four-digit postal code areas as the unit of analysis. High level of particulate matter (⩾24·5 μg/m3) with an aerodynamic diameter <10 μm (PM10) was by far the strongest risk factor for human Q fever with an odds ratio of 10·4 (95% confidence interval 7·0–15·6) using PM10 <24·5 μg/m3 as reference, in logistic regression analysis, controlling for differences in animal densities, vegetation and other risk factors. Particulate matter seems to play an important role in the transmission of Q fever from infected animals to humans and should be a focus for further studies on zoonotic infectious diseases and decision-making.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Dr W. van der Hoek, Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), PO Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands. (Email: wim.van.der.hoek@rivm.nl)

References

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