Genetic variations in innate immunity genes affect response to Coxiella burnetii and are associated with susceptibility to chronic Q fever.
Chronic Q fever is a persistent infection, mostly of aortic aneurysms, vascular prostheses or damaged heart valves caused by the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii. Only a fraction of C. burnetii-infected individuals at risk develops chronic Q fever. In these individuals, a defective innate immune response may contribute to the development of chronic Q fever. We assessed whether genetic variations in genes involved in the killing machinery for C. burnetii by macrophages, contribute to the progression to chronic Q fever.