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Q fever seroprevalence in parturient women: the EQRUN cross-sectional study on Reunion Island

Abstract : Background: Q fever (Coxiella burnetii infection) has been associated with adverse perinatal outcomes. After investigating the obstetrical importance of Q fever on Reunion island and demonstrating an association between incident Q fever and miscarriage, we conducted a cross-sectional serosurvey to assess the prevalence of Coxiella burnetii infection among parturient women. Methods: Between January 9 and July 24, 2014, within the level-4 maternity of Saint Pierre hospital and the level-1 maternity of Le Tampon, we proposed to screen all parturient women for Coxiella burnetii serology. Seropositivity was defined using indirect immunofluorescence for a dilution of phase 2 IgG titre ≥1:64. Further dilutions were chosen to discriminate recent or active infections from past or prevalent infections (< 1:128) and classify these as either possible (1:128), or probable (≥1:256). Recurrent miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm birth, small-for-gestational as well as a composite outcome of these adverse pregnancy outcomes were compared according to seropositivity using bivariate analysis or propensity score matching of seropositive and seronegative women on confounding factors. Results: Among 1112 parturient women screened for Q fever over this 7-month period, 203 (18.3%) were seropositive. Overall weighted seroprevalence was of 20.1% (95%CI, 17.7-22.5%). Weighted seroprevalence of probable infections was 4.7% (95%CI 3.4-5.9%), while > 90% of positive serologies corresponded to past infections or false positives. Seropositivity was associated with none of the abovementioned adverse perinatal outcomes, whether in unpaired or matched analyses on propensity score. Conclusion: The magnitude and the pattern of seroprevalence suggest that Q fever is endemic on Reunion island. In this context, we found no significant contribution of prevalent Coxiella burnetii infection to adverse pregnancy outcomes. Although reassuring, these data put in our endemic context, with a previously demonstrated increased risk of incident Q fever associated miscarriage, encourage us to protect pregnant women against the risk of new infection, periconceptional or early in pregnancy.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 16, 2020 - 12:32:52 PM
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Julien Jaubert, Laura Atiana, Sophie Larrieu, Philippe de Vos, Claudine Somon-Payet, et al.. Q fever seroprevalence in parturient women: the EQRUN cross-sectional study on Reunion Island. BMC Infectious Diseases, BioMed Central, 2020, 20 (1), pp.261. ⟨10.1186/s12879-020-04969-w⟩. ⟨inserm-02969061⟩

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