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Antibody; Coxiella burnetii (Q fever)

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Antibody Test for Coxiella burnetii (Q Fever)

  • Common names: Q Fever Antibody Test, Coxiella burnetii Antibody Test
  • Technical term: Serological Test for Coxiella burnetii Antibodies


The Q Fever Antibody Test is a blood test used to detect antibodies against Coxiella burnetii, the bacterium responsible for Q fever. This test helps to diagnose an infection by measuring the immune response to the pathogen.


  • Medical Condition: Q fever, caused by the Coxiella burnetii bacterium.
  • Goals: To confirm the presence of an acute or past infection, aiding in the diagnosis and guiding treatment.


  • Symptoms like fever, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue.
  • Recent exposure to farm animals or environments contaminated with C. burnetii.
  • Unexplained prolonged febrile illnesses.
  • Suspected endocarditis in patients.


  • No special preparation is typically required.
  • Patients may be advised to inform their healthcare provider about any medications they are taking.
  • A thorough medical history and physical examination will be conducted.

Procedure Description

  1. A healthcare professional draws a blood sample from the patient's vein, usually in the arm.
  2. The sample is sent to a laboratory where it is analyzed for the presence of antibodies against Coxiella burnetii.
  3. The test typically uses methods like enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) to detect the antibodies.
    • No anesthesia or sedation is needed.
    • Equipment: Sterile needle, syringe, blood collection tube, laboratory assays.


The blood draw takes about 5-10 minutes. Laboratory analysis may take a few days to a week.


  • Outpatient clinic, hospital, or laboratory.


  • Phlebotomist or nurse to draw the blood.
  • Laboratory technicians or technologists to analyze the sample.
  • Physician to interpret the results.

Risks and Complications

  • Minor risks: slight pain, bruising, or bleeding at the needle insertion site.
  • Rare risks: infection at the puncture site, fainting or dizziness.


  • Accurate diagnosis of Q fever, leading to appropriate treatment.
  • Early detection of the disease in at-risk populations.
  • Peace of mind regarding unexplained symptoms.


  • Minimal recovery needed, as it is a standard blood test.
  • Patients can resume normal activities immediately.
  • Follow-up appointment may be scheduled to discuss test results.


  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for direct detection of C. burnetii DNA.
    • Pros: Can detect early infection.
    • Cons: More complex, may not be available everywhere.
  • Clinical evaluation based on symptoms and exposure history.
    • Pros: Immediate preliminary assessment.
    • Cons: Less definitive without lab confirmation.

Patient Experience

  • The procedure involves a needle stick similar to routine blood tests, which may cause brief discomfort.
  • Patients may feel a prick or sting during the blood draw.
  • Post-procedure, usually no pain or discomfort. Any minor side effects typically resolve quickly.

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