A Novel Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) Model of Human Inhalational Q Fever

Michelle Nelson*, Francisco Javier Salguero Bodes, Laura Hunter, Timothy P. Atkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were shown to be susceptible to inhalational infection with Coxiella burnetii, in a dose-dependent manner, producing a disease similar to human Q fever, characterized by a resolving febrile response. Illness was also associated with weight loss, liver enzyme dysfunction, characteristic cellular activation, circulating INF-γ and bacteraemia. Viable C. burnetii was recovered from various tissues during disease and from 75% of the animal’s lungs on 28 days post challenge, when there were no overt clinical features of disease but there was histological evidence of macrophage and lymphocyte infiltration into the lung resulting in granulomatous alveolitis. Taken together, these features of disease progression, physiology and bacterial spread appear to be consistent with human disease and therefore the common marmoset can be considered as a suitable model for studies on the pathogenesis or the development of medical counter measures of inhalational Q fever.

Original languageEnglish
Article number621635
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the MOD for funding the work and all their colleagues at Dstl that supported this work in many ways.

Publisher Copyright:
© Crown Copyright © 2021 Dstl. Authors: Nelson, Salguero, Hunter and Atkins.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Coxiella burnetii
  • histology
  • infectious disease
  • innate immunology
  • nonhuman primate


Dive into the research topics of 'A Novel Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) Model of Human Inhalational Q Fever'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this