Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Comparative Pathobiology

First Advisor

George E Moore

Committee Member 1

Janice Kritchevsky

Committee Member 2

Joanne B. Messick

Committee Member 3

Roman Pogranichniy

Committee Member 4

Hsin-Yi Weng


Coxiella burnetii is an obligate, intracellular bacterium and the etiologic agent of the zoonotic disease Q fever. Through the presence of an environmentally resilient small cell variant, C. burnetii can persist outside of a host in the face of extremes in temperature, humidity, and pressure. C. burnetii is considered to be ubiquitous in the environment and endemic in cattle, sheep and goat populations. These same species are the main reservoirs for human infection with C. burnetii. The overall goal of this project was to develop a baseline understanding of the epidemiology of C. burnetii in goats in Indiana. Specific areas addressed were: Individual and herd level prevalence of infection with C. burnetii as evaluated by serologic and molecular methods, geographic distribution of individuals and herds positive for infection with C. burnetii, and evaluation of potential risk factors for infection with C. burnetii among individual goats and herds. Six-hundred-fifty-four does representing 95 herds were included in the study sample as a whole. Six-hundred-forty-nine of the does from 94 farms were from Indiana. Based on the use of a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), there was a 3.8% estimated individual level and 11.2% estimated herd level seroprevalence