A prediction rule that identified patients at low-risk for Q fever pneumonia helped physicians from French Guiana make decisions about the use of antibiotherapy in this patient population.
Patients with Q fever pneumonia had higher C-reactive protein levels and normal or low leukocyte counts compared with controls. Risk factors for Q fever pneumonia included male sex, middle age, headaches, low leukocyte counts and low C-reactive protein levels.
By conducting a retrospective case-control study, researchers sought to determine the prevalence of Q fever among patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), identify factors associated with Q fever pneumonia and develop a predictive score for screening patients.
The cohort included 131 consecutive patients with CAP who presented from May 1, 2004 to Sept. 31, 2007 to the department of infectious and tropical diseases of Cayenne Hospital in French Guiana.
Among the 131 patients with CAP, the prevalence of Q fever pneumonia was 24.4% (95% CI, 17.1-31.8). The mean age of patients with Q fever pneumonia was 46.5 years and the prevalence of comorbid conditions was significantly lower than in controls. Clinically, the symptoms of Q fever pneumonia were more severe than those of controls, but the body temperatures and respiratory symptoms did not differ.
Epelboin L. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;55:67-74
The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.