Chlamydophila psittaci

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  • Causes notifiable psittacosis in birds
  • Epidemiology:
    • Many wild and domestic birds susceptible
    • Organisms present in respiratory secretions and faeces of infected birds
    • Infection via inhalation or ingestion
    • Subclinical infection common
    • Intermittent shedding for prolonged periods
    • Stress precipitates disease outbreaks
  • Clinical signs:
    • Generalised infection affecting intestinal and respiratory tracts
    • Up to 10 day incubation period
    • Loss of condtion, oculonasal discahrge, diarrhoea and respiratory distress depending on strain
    • Hepatomegaly, airsacculitis and peritonitis
  • Diagnosis: stained smears, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, PCR, isolation, antibody detection by ELISA and complement fixation
  • Treatment: tetracyclines for several weeks
  • Control: quaranteen imported birds and give tetracyclines; good husbandry
  • Involved in feline rhinotracheitis together with herpes virus 1
  • Zoonotic by aerosol infection - can cause systemic disease with pneumonia, meningitis or meningoencephalitis

Chlamydophila psittaci Learning Resources
Selection of relevant videos
Radiograph of an African Grey Parrot with hepatomegaly