PCR for rapid diagnosis of acute Q fever at a combat support hospital in Iraq

Lanette R. Hamilton, Dena L. George, Stephanie L. Scoville, Duane R. Hospenthal, Matthew E. Griffith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Acute Q fever is occasionally seen in U.S. military service members deployed to Iraq. Diagnosis relies on serology, which is not available in the combat zone. Improved diagnostic modalities are needed. We performed a pilot study investigating whether Joint Biological Agent Identification and Diagnostic System (JBAIDS), a ruggedized, deployable polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platform, might be useful in the diagnosis of acute Q fever. Patients presenting to a Combat Support Hospital in Iraq with undifferentiated fever had blood drawn for Q fever PCR and these results were compared with serology. PCR was positive in 6 of 9 patients with acute Q fever by serology and negative in all 9 patients with negative serology. These results suggest that PCR using the JBAIDS platform could be of use in the diagnosis of Q fever in deployed settings. Further research into this modality is warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-105
Number of pages3
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


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