Coxiella burnetii (Q fever), Molecular Detection, PCR [A Test in Focus]

Robin Patel, M.D., chair of Mayo Clinic's Division of Microbiology, provides a three-minute overview of a new test for Coxiella burnetii, the causative agent of Q fever. Mayo Medical Laboratories has developed a real-time PCR test that rapidly detects Coxiella burnetii DNA in clinical specimens by targeting a sequence of the shikimate dehydrogenase gene (aroE) unique to Coxiella burnetii.

Below are some of the key aspects of the new test for your quick review. Also available for your reference is a detailed test information sheet.




  • Diagnosing Coxiella burnetii infection (e.g., Q fever)
  • Coxiella burnetii is the causative agent of Q fever.
  • Although infection generally causes mild respiratory disease, a small number of acute cases will advance to a chronic condition, which typically manifests as endocarditis and, if left untreated, is fatal.
  • Current diagnostic methods of Q fever endocarditis are subjective and nonspecific, limiting usefulness in patient diagnostics.
  • Mayo Medical Laboratories has developed a real-time PCR test that permits rapid identification of Coxiella burnetii in infected tissue, blood, or serum.
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
    (PCR is utilized pursuant to a license agreement with Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.)


  • Day(s) and Time(s) Test Performed: Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 8 am
  • Test reported Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Analytic Time: 2 days
Andy Tofilon (@andytofilon)

Andy Tofilon

Andy Tofilon is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories.