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Chlamydiosis in British Garden Birds (2005–2011): Retrospective Diagnosis and Chlamydia psittaci Genotype Determination


Beckmann, K M; Borel, N; Pocknell, A M; Dagleish, M P; Sachse, K; John, S K; Pospischil, A; Cunningham, A A; Lawson, B (2014). Chlamydiosis in British Garden Birds (2005–2011): Retrospective Diagnosis and Chlamydia psittaci Genotype Determination. EcoHealth, 11(4):544-563.

Abstract

The significance of chlamydiosis as a cause of mortality in wild passerines, and the role of these birds as a potential source of zoonotic Chlamydia psittaci infection, is unknown. We reviewed wild bird mortality incidents (2005–2011). Where species composition or post mortem findings were indicative of chlamydiosis, we examined archived tissues for C. psittaci infection using PCR and ArrayTube Microarray assays. Twenty-one of 40 birds tested positive: 8 dunnocks (Prunella modularis), 7 great tits (Parus major), 3 blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), 2 collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) and 1 robin (Erithacus rubecula). Chlamydia psittaci genotype A was identified in all passerines tested and in a further three dunnocks and three robins diagnosed with chlamydiosis from a previous study. Two collared doves had genotype E. Ten of the 21 C. psittaci-positive birds identified in the current study had histological lesions consistent with chlamydiosis and were positive for Chlamydia spp. antigens by immunohistochemistry. Our results indicate that C. psittaci infection and chlamydiosis have been previously under diagnosed in passerines in Britain. Wild passerines may be a source of C. psittaci zoonotic infection, and people should be advised to take appropriate hygiene precautions when handling bird feeders or wild birds.

Abstract

The significance of chlamydiosis as a cause of mortality in wild passerines, and the role of these birds as a potential source of zoonotic Chlamydia psittaci infection, is unknown. We reviewed wild bird mortality incidents (2005–2011). Where species composition or post mortem findings were indicative of chlamydiosis, we examined archived tissues for C. psittaci infection using PCR and ArrayTube Microarray assays. Twenty-one of 40 birds tested positive: 8 dunnocks (Prunella modularis), 7 great tits (Parus major), 3 blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus), 2 collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) and 1 robin (Erithacus rubecula). Chlamydia psittaci genotype A was identified in all passerines tested and in a further three dunnocks and three robins diagnosed with chlamydiosis from a previous study. Two collared doves had genotype E. Ten of the 21 C. psittaci-positive birds identified in the current study had histological lesions consistent with chlamydiosis and were positive for Chlamydia spp. antigens by immunohistochemistry. Our results indicate that C. psittaci infection and chlamydiosis have been previously under diagnosed in passerines in Britain. Wild passerines may be a source of C. psittaci zoonotic infection, and people should be advised to take appropriate hygiene precautions when handling bird feeders or wild birds.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Chlamydia psittaci, chlamydiosis, collared dove Streptopelia decaocto, Order Passeriformes, passerine, wild bird
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:02 Jul 2014 15:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:56
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-9202
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10393-014-0951-x

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