Infection with Coxiella burnetii, the cause of Q-fever, has never been detected in Norwegian animals. Recognising the increasing prevalence of the infection in neighbouring countries, the aim of the study was to perform a survey of Norwegian farmed ruminants for the prevalence of C. burnetii infection.
Milk and blood samples from more than 3450 Norwegian dairy cattle herds, 55 beef cattle herds, 348 dairy goat herds and 118 sheep flocks were serologically examined for antibodies against C. burnetii. All samples were negative for antibodies against C. burnetii. The estimated prevalences of infected herds were 0 (95% confidence interval: 0% - 0.12%), 0 (0% - 12%), 0 (0% - 1.2%) and 0 (0% - 10%) for dairy cattle herds, beef cattle herds, goat herds and sheep flocks, respectively.
The study indicates that the prevalence of C. burnetii infection in farmed Norwegian ruminants is low, and it cannot be excluded that Norway is free of the infection. It would be beneficial if Norway was able to maintain the current situation. Therefore, preventive measures should be continued.
Keywords: Coxiella burnetii, ELISA, Freedom from disease, Q-fever, Serology, Ruminants