Q Fever is an infectious disease of man. Cattle, sheep and goats, who for the most part suffer inapparent infections with the organism, are the important sources of infection for man. These animals shed the organism in their milk.

This manuscript reports on the cooperative studies designed to determine the times and temperatures needed to eliminate the causative rickettsiae, Coxiella burnetii, from cows milk. It is reported that the present minimum standard of pasteurization by the vat method of 143° F. for 30 minutes is inadequate, but the temperature of 145° F. for 30 minutes will eliminate the organism. The pasteurization of milk according to the present standards for HTST equipment of 161° F. for 15 seconds seems adequate to destroy C. burnetii.

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Author notes

1Presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting International Association of Milk and Food Sanitarians, Inc. in Seattle Washington, September 5–7, 1956.

2Department Veterinary Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California.

3Robert A. Taft Sanitary Engineering Center, Division of Sanitary Engineering Services, U. S. P. H. S., Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. John B. Enright is Chairman of the Department of Veterinary Public Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California. He received his Ph. D. degree from Stanford University in 1947. Later he was acting assistant chief of the Viral and Rickettsial Disease Laboratory California State Department of Public Health.

His work has been in the field of viral and rickettsial diseases, more specifically poliomyelitis, encephalitis, Q Fever and rabies.