The infectious dose for Q fever is exceptionally low and it is estimated that only 10 bacterial cells is sufficient to cause disease in humans. Thus, until the recent construction of the Regional Biocontainment Laboratories such as the LIDR, understanding infection and immunity to Q fever was limited by the lack of facilities capable of protecting the laboratory worker from accidental infection. MU researchers at the LIDR are studying pulmonary Q fever and the mechanism of protective immunity against the disease. Their research has identified candidate vaccine approaches that are under development at the LIDR.
Images courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention