Coxiella burnetii is the intracellular bacterium responsible for Q fever and is classified as a category B potential
biological weapon. Primary infection by C. burnetii is often asymptomatic or mild and is accompanied by spontaneous
recovery. In patients with valve lesions or immunosuppressed patients, including pregnant women, the infection may become
chronic. C. burnetii survives and replicates within myeloid cells by subverting receptor-mediated phagocytosis and
preventing phagosome maturation. Here, we summarize the existing knowledge regarding the host response to C. burnetii;
we also discuss the mechanisms used by C. burnetii to survive within macrophages as well as the defective immune response
that characterizes chronic Q fever.
Keywords: Coxiella burnetii, cytokine, immune response, interleukin, intracellular, lymphocytes, macrophages, monocytes,
phagolysosomes, phagosomes, Q fever.
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