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In Europe the incidence of human Q fever has dramatically increased over the previous years. Untreated infections with Coxiella burnetii, the causal agent of Q fever, have been associated with both obstetric and maternal complications. The majority of pregnant women with a C. burnetii infection remain asymptomatic, hence screening could be of value to prevent unwanted outcomes in this high-risk group. We applied the updated Wilson and Jungner criteria to review the evidence for routine screening for C. burnetii infection during pregnancy. Since much uncertainty remains about the incidence, clinical consequences, diagnostics and treatment of C. burnetii infection during pregnancy, routine screening for C. burnetii infection during pregnancy should not be recommended. Rigorous studies to assess the effectiveness of C. burnetii screening are warranted.


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