A survey of Coxiella burnetii infection (Q fever) in sheep flocks and goat herds in Great Britain was undertaken. A total of 5791 sheep (384 flocks) and 522 goats (145 herds) were examined for C. burnetii antibodies using an ELISA. Overall, 53 sheep (37 flocks), and four goats (four herds), tested positive. Estimates of individual animal, between-flock/-herd and within-flock/-herd crude prevalences were 0 9%, 10 2% and 9 0%, respectively, for sheep, and 0 8%, 3% and 26 3%, respectively, for goats. With sheep, the likelihood of an animal testing positive increased with total flock size (P = 0 002) and number of breeding ewes in the flock (P = 0 021). It also increased with number of goats within a 10 km radius (P = 0 038). There was no evidence for spatial clustering of positive herds above that expected by chance alone. No analysis of risk factors was attempted for goats because of the paucity of positives.
- Q fever