Medical Dictionary


noun Cox·i·el·la \ˌkäk-sē-ˈel-ə\

Medical Definition of Coxiella

  1. :  a genus of small pleomorphic gram-negative bacteria (family coxiellaceae) occurring intercellularly in ticks and intracellularly in the cytoplasm of vertebrates and including the causative organism (C. burnetii) of Q fever

Biographical Note for coxiella


\ˈkäks\play ,

Herald Rea

(1907–1986), American bacteriologist. Cox's areas of research include neurotropic virus diseases, rickettsial diseases, virus infections, and vaccines. In 1937 Frank MacFarlane Burnet, an Australian physician, reported his discovery with Mavis Freeman of the causative organism of Q fever. At about the same time Cox isolated this causative agent. The genus Coxiella of bacteria created to contain the pathogenic agent (Coxiella burnetii) was named after Cox and the species after Burnet.

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to criticize severely

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