In Australia, research was done on the effectiveness of Q fever tests. The Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology compared different tests to each other, among them Q-detect™. This test, developed by the Dutch Innatoss, turns out to be the best test by far for Q fever screening. The results were presented at the European microbiology conference ECCMID in Madrid.

Vaccination for employees who have a higher risk of getting Q fever is mandatory in Australia. However, this vaccine can cause adverse reactions in those persons with prior exposure to this infectious disease. To prevent adverse events, pre-vaccination screening is performed, which normally consists out of a skin test and an antibody test.

In the Australian immunization research project led by Q fever expert Dr. Graves, a multitude of available Q fever assays were compared. This was the first time that Dutch Q-detect test, which was invented by the Dutch Radboud University Medical Center, was included in this type of research.

Dutch Q-detect test by far the best

The results speak volumes. Of all the tests included in the investigation, Q-detect is the only one that is given the label “good assay”. It was the only one that identifies all of the 8 persons with prior exposure to the Q fever bacterium.

The results of the currently used tests for Q fever screening were a surprise. The skin prick test identified just 3 of the 8 persons. Even in combination with the best regarded antibody test, the IFA test, only 75% was found.

“Q-detect is not only the most sensitive assay in our study, but is also much less invasive and requires less visits before immunization than the current strategy of skin prick plus antibody test do,” according to Dr. Graves.

Innatoss Laboratory is a Dutch SME focused on the development of new diagnostics for infectious diseases. Their Q-detect assay is available for research use in Australia. The company is actively looking for Australian partners to make this unique test available for clinical use in the country where it is most needed.

Original presentation


Innatoss Laboratories

Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory