Serologic responses are time-dependent. Specimens collected too early in the disease may not have detectable antibody levels. A second specimen collected 2 to 4 weeks later may be necessary to detect antibody.
Q fever, a rickettsial infection caused by Coxiella burnetii, has been recognized as a widely distributed zoonosis with the potential for causing both sporadic and epidemic disease. The resistance of Coxiella burnetii to heat, chemical agents, and desiccation allows the agent to survive for extended periods outside the host.