Psittacosis

Chlamydophila (Chlamydia) psittaci, C. trachomatis, and C. pneumoniae can be passed from birds of all species to humans. Wild pigeons and pheasants have been demonstrated to be a source. Wild birds in captivity, pets (usually cockatiels, parakeets, parrots, and macaws), and production animals can infect workers, and there are reports of customs and health inspection workers becoming infected. Infection is through contact with feces, urine, and oral secretions (31).

Mild infection produces a tracheobronchitis with flu-like symptoms of cough, congestion, myalgias, fatigue, and fever. In severe infections, untreated workers, and immunocompromised workers, pneumonia, sepsis, shock, and death can occur. Radiographs reveal a lobar infiltrate (31).

Diagnosis is by detection of the 16s rRNA gene of C. Psittasi in sputum with a PCR analysis, and a typical radiographic appearance and culture. Tetracyclines and erythromycin are effective for treatment. Prevention is through close monitoring and culling flocks and pet birds and personal protection equipment (32).

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