The USDA and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention teamed up recently to survey for Q-fever and brucellosis in Bosnia. The group—composed of five veterinarians, a veterinary student, a physician, and a microbiologist—spent nearly three weeks in Bosnia evaluating the diseases in humans and animals, and upgrading the country's ability to test for these diseases. The spread of Q-fever and brucellosis in humans and animals is a major concern for Bosnian health officials.
Dr. Alfonso Torres, administrator of USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services, said, "This was an opportunity for USDA to offer epidemiologic assistance to the country and learn more about these diseases."
While in Bosnia, the team worked to determine the prevalence of Q-fever. The team also tried to upgrade the ability of human and animal diagnostic laboratories in the country to test for Q-fever and screen for brucellosis.
In addition, the team conducted a case-control study to evaluate known risk factors for Q-fever and establish a relationship between exposure and the clinical disease. They also brought back duplicate human and animal samples to the United States for additional testing and culture.