Coxiella burnetii infection of the spine requiring neurosurgical intervention

Paige Lundy, Paul Arnold, Kirk Hance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Infections from Coxiella burnetii, resulting in what is known as Q fever, are relatively rare and difficult to diagnose. Very few reports of spinal infection from C. burnetii have been reported rarely have these cases required surgical intervention. Case Description: We report a patient with the previous vascular surgery and Q fever spinal osteomyelitis. Previously reported cases with spinal involvement have described initial infection of vascular grafts in proximity to the spine. Literature on spinal infection from C. burnetii reports only one case that required surgical intervention of the spine. We report a patient with L5-S1 diskitis who required surgical intervention and subsequent percutaneous drainage. Conclusion: Spinal infections from C. burnetii are rare; however, in the setting of a patient with osteodiscitis with negative cultures as well as a history of significant vascular disease with stents, the diagnosis of Q fever should be entertained. Operative and interventional procedures should also be considered in these patients to help alleviate pain and maintain neurologic function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number182
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Coxiella burnetii
  • Osteodiscitis
  • Q fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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