Immunoglobulin M and Immunoglobulin G Seronegative Q Fever: A Hypothesis for Veterans' Medically Unexplained Chronic Multi-symptom Illnesses

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Chagaris MJ, Smith RC, Goldstein AL 12(1). 37 - 48 (Journal Article)

We present Q fever as a credible hypothesis for Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses (GWVIs) and as a possible etiology for prevalent symptomologies affecting currently serving servicemembers. Q fever is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii, which is endemic throughout the Middle East. Q fever may manifest in many forms of widely varying and often inconstant symptoms. Due to false-negative interpretations in current and past diagnostic testing, Q fever has not received appropriate consideration as a possible causative agent for medically unexplained veterans' illnesses. Review of current literature invites us to consider that a form of Q fever involving an incomplete immune response is a potential cause of these debilitating illnesses. We hypothesize C. burnetii infection coincidental to exposures suppressing antibody-specific immune response results in infection mediated by immunoglobulin D (IgD). Literature indicates that successful treatment for this form of Q fever requires the concurrent administration of doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine.

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