Which etiologies of fever of unknown origin (FUO) are suggested by a history of specific animal exposures?

Updated: May 17, 2021
  • Author: Sandra G Gompf, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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A history of exposure to unpasteurized dairy (eg, swine, cattle, goats, camels, sheep) may suggest the following:

  • Brucellosis
  • Coxiella burnetii ( chronic Q fever, Q fever endocarditis; parturient animals aerosolize Coxiella from the placenta)
  • Yersinia enterocolitica/ Yersinia pseudotuberculosis: Mesenteric adenitis, pseudoappendicitis, with or without diarrhea

Exposure to birds (especially new pets, sick birds) may suggest Chlamydia psittaci infection.

Exposure to cats or cat litter may suggest toxoplasmosis or cat scratch disease (especially kittens).

Exposure to undercooked or undersmoked game meats, especially bear, cougar, wild hog, may suggest trichinosis (diffuse myalgias).

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