Q fever cases associated with fresh cell therapy in new assessment
Fresh cell therapy consists of the injection of fetal and placental cells from homogenized tissues from sheep. This therapy is not proven to be effective, but it is often used as an anti-aging treatment, treatments for age related and chronic disorders and an alternative cancer treatment.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) reports that six cases of Q fever were reported in May 2014 after they had undergone fresh cell therapy. The Paul Ehrlich Institute reported a seventh case in Oct. 2014. Q fever affects both humans and animals and typically presents itself as a mild illness. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle soreness and, in select cases, pneumonia.
Severe infections may present themselves as chronic Q fever which consists of inflammation of the heart; if left untreated, it can be fatal. The ECDPC reports chronic illness in approximately one percent of Q fever cases.
The ECDPC warns that potential recipients of cells should be informed of the risks. They also state that any organization or healthcare facility that takes blood or tissue donations should not accept donors that have taken part in this treatment.