What role does Australian wildlife play in the epidemiology of human Q fever?


An opportunity is available for a student interested in studying the potential role of Australian wildlife in cycling and shedding Coxiella burnetii, (the agent causing Q fever in humans) to humans and other animals. Through systematic analysis of samples from Australian wildlife in different settings, this project aims to undercover the risk factors for infection in wildlife and the potential for spill over in the human population


Dr Katrina Louise Bosward, Associate Professor Jacqueline Maree Norris

Research Location

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Program Type



Q fever is a zoonotic disease of humans caused by the bacterium, Coxiella burnetii.  It is the most common notifiable, non-foodborne zoonoses in Australia with over 600 notifications each year in recent times. While livestock remain the most common source of infection for humans in Australia, wildlife are increasingly becoming implicated as a source of infection for humans.   This project will investigate the presence of C. burnetii in wildlife species such as macropods and in people that come in contact with these animal species.  The project has potential to provide experience in both epidemiological and laboratory based methodologies.

Additional Information

Eligibility criteria: 
Domestic students interested in pursuing a PhD in this research area must have a degree in veterinary science or a related discipline (e.g. veterinary bioscience) and be eligible for, and awarded an RTP (formerly APA)  http://sydney.edu.au/scholarships/research/research-training-program.shtml#RTPUPA

International students interested would need to be eligble for the RTP (formerly IPRS)
Research Location:  Camden/Camperdown

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Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, Australian wildlife

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2138