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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Detection and identification of Chlamydophila psittaci in asymptomatic parrots in Poland

Tomasz Piasecki*, Klaudia Chrząstek and Alina Wieliczko

Author Affiliations

Department of Epizootiology and Clinic of Bird and Exotic Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, pl. Grunwadzki 45, Wrocław, 50-366, Poland

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BMC Veterinary Research 2012, 8:233  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-8-233

Published: 4 December 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords:
Chlamydophila psittaci; Psittacine birds; RFLP-PCR