Main content area

Detection and identification of Chlamydophila psittaci in asymptomatic parrots in Poland

Piasecki, Tomasz, Chrząstek, Klaudia, Wieliczko, Alina
BMC veterinary research 2012 v.8 no.1 pp. 554
Chlamydophila psittaci, chlamydiosis, chronic diseases, epidemiology, genes, genotype, hosts, parrots, polymerase chain reaction, psittacosis, screening, Poland
BACKGROUND: Psittacosis, an avian disease caused by Chlamydophila psittaci, can manifest as an acute, protracted, or chronic illness, but can also be asymptomatic. C. psittaci can persist in the host for months to years, often without causing obvious illness, and therefore poses a threat for zoonotic outbreak. We investigated the prevalence of C. psittaci from 156 tracheal swab samples from 34 different species of parrots in Poland, and determined the genotype of strains from the positive samples. RESULTS: An overall prevalence of 10.3% was observed using two different PCR assays, both providing similar results. Thirteen of the PCR-positive samples were genotype A, two were genotype B, and one could not be classified. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate widespread dissemination of C. psittaci in Polish psittacine populations, without any clinical signs of chlamydiosis, and hence could pose a zoonotic hazard. PCR screening provided a definitive diagnosis of psittacosis, and subsequent ompA gene analysis could be helpful for better understanding the epidemiology of the C. psittaci genotypes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the incidence of C. psittaci in parrots in Poland.