Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Mojica, S. A. Hovis, K. M. Frieman, M. B. Tran, B. Hsia, R.-c. Ravel, J. Jenkins-Houk, C. Wilson, K. L. and Bavoil, P. M. 2015. SINC, a type III secreted protein of Chlamydia psittaci, targets the inner nuclear membrane of infected cells and uninfected neighbors. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 26, Issue. 10, p. 1918.

    Knittler, Michael R. Berndt, Angela Böcker, Selina Dutow, Pavel Hänel, Frank Heuer, Dagmar Kägebein, Danny Klos, Andreas Koch, Sophia Liebler-Tenorio, Elisabeth Ostermann, Carola Reinhold, Petra Saluz, Hans Peter Schöfl, Gerhard Sehnert, Philipp and Sachse, Konrad 2014. Chlamydia psittaci: New insights into genomic diversity, clinical pathology, host–pathogen interaction and anti-bacterial immunity. International Journal of Medical Microbiology, Vol. 304, Issue. 7, p. 877.

    Piasecki, Tomasz Chrząstek, Klaudia and Wieliczko, Alina 2012. Detection and identification of Chlamydophila psittaci in asymptomatic parrots in Poland. BMC Veterinary Research, Vol. 8, Issue. 1, p. 233.

    Theegarten, Dirk Anhenn, Olaf Hotzel, Helmut Wagner, Mathias Marra, Alessandro Stamatis, Georgios Mogilevski, Grigori and Sachse, Konrad 2004. A comparative ultrastructural and molecular biological study on Chlamydia psittaci infection in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and non-alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency emphysema versus lung tissue of patients with hamartochondroma. BMC Infectious Diseases, Vol. 4, Issue. 1,

    Longbottom, D. and Coulter, L.J. 2003. Animal Chlamydioses and Zoonotic Implications. Journal of Comparative Pathology, Vol. 128, Issue. 4, p. 217.


Chlamydial infections of poultry and human health

  • H. Salisch (a1), Kirstin Von Malottki (a1), M. Ryll (a1) and K.-H. Hinz (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 September 2007

Chlamydiosis of domestic poultry (chickens, pheasants, guinea fowl, quail, ducks, geese, and turkeys) is reviewed with emphasis on psittacosis as an occupational disease. The article covers literature from 1940 to 1994. The potential risks of transmission of C. psittaci from poultry to man are discussed, and clinical diseases caused by C. psittaci infection in man are briefly reviewed. Ducks, sometimes without clinical signs, and turkey flocks usually conspicuous for ornithosis during transport or processing, are the most likely sources for poultry transmitted psittacosis. Isolation of the chlamydia, both from man and birds, is the best method for confirmation of the diagnosis. In humans an easier, but less reliable, way is the demonstration of a significant titre rise in properly spaced paired serum samples combined with clinical symptoms. False positive results can occur with the complement fixation test (CFT) commonly used. It has to be remembered that there is a high prevalence of antibodies to different Chlamydia spp. in the population, and that the genus-specific antigen used in the CFT recognizes antibodies to all these pathogens and antibodies resulting from prior infections. More specific serological tests should be favoured, and highly sensitive and specific DNA detection methods, currently mostly used in research, will probably replace tests like the CFT. Case reports of outbreaks of the disease especially among poultry plant workers are compared. With awareness of the problem, employees knowing the clinical signs of psittacosis both in poultry and man, modern abattoir machinery, good sanitary conditions, and early treatment with effective drugs when necessary, the disease risks can be minimized.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. Alexander , L. Putzmann , U. Rühl and S. Rumpf (1973) Untersuchungen über den Durchseuchungsgrad an Herpes simplex, Ornithose und Toxoplasmose bei der Berliner Bevölkerung. Verhandlungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Innere Medizin 79: 14271429

M.Z. Al-Kawi and M.M. Madkour (1986) Brain stem encephalitis in ornithosis [letter]. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 49: 603604

J.P. Anderson (1973) Ornithosis in Somerset. Experiences in the South Somerset clinical area 1964–1971. Postgraduate Medical Journal 49: 533534

J.P. Anderson and F.A.J. Bridgwater (1968) Ornithosis in a chest clinical practice. British Journal of Diseases of the Chest 62: 155166

I.E. Anderson (1987) Comparison of some ovine Chlamydia psittaci isolates by indirect immunofluorescence. Veterinary Microbiology 13: 6974

I.E. Anderson , T.W. Tan , G.E. Jones and A.J. Herring (1990) Efficacy against ovine enzootic abortion of an experimental vaccine containing purified elementary bodies of Chlamydia psittaci. Veterinary Microbiology 24: 2127

B. Andral , C. Louzis , E. Edlinger , J.A. Newman , D. Toquin and G. Bennejean (1985b) Respiratory disease (rhinotracheitis) in turkeys in Brittany, France, 1981–1982. II. Laboratory findings. Avian Diseases 29: 3542

B. Andral , M. Metz , D. Toquin , J. Lecoz and J.A. Newman (1985c) Respiratory disease (rhinotracheitis) in turkeys in Brittany, France. III. Interaction of multiple infecting agents. Avian Diseases 29: 233243

G.G. Arzey and K.E. Arzey (1990) Chlamydiosis in layer chickens. Australian Veterinary Journal 67: 461

K.E. Arzey , G.G. Arzey and R.L. Reece (1990) Chlamydiosis in commercial ducks. Australian Veterinary Journal 67: 333334

D. A. Barr , P.C. Scott , M.D. O'Rourke and R.J. Coulter (1986) Isolation of Chlamydia psittaci from commercial broiler chickens. Australian Veterinary Journal 63: 377378

B.J. Bevan and C.D. Bracewell (1986) Chlamydiosis in birds in Great Britain. 2. Isolation of Chlamydia psittaci from birds sampled between 1976 and 1984. Journal of Hygiene (Cambridge) 96: 453458

S.J. Bourke , D. Carrington , C.E. Frew , C.P. McSharry and G. Boyd (1992) A comparison of the seroepidemiology of chlamydial infection in pigeon fanciers and farmers in the U.K. Journal of Infection 25: Supplement 1, 9198

C.D. Bracewell and B.J. Bevan (1986) Chlamydiosis in Great Britain. I. Serological reactions to chlamydia in birds sampled between 1974 and 1983. Journal of Hygiene (Cambridge) 96: 447451

A.-L. Bruu , S. Aasen , S. Tjaland and L. Birkeland Flugsrud (1984) An outbreak of ornithosis in Norway in 1981. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 16: 145152

A.-L. Bruu , G. Haukenes , S. Aasen , J.T. Grayston , S.P. Wang , O.G. Klausen , H. Myrmel and V. Hasseltveldt (1991) Chlamydia pneumoniae infectious in Norway 1981–87 earlier diagnosed as ornithosis. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 23: 299304

W.S.K. Chalmers (1984) Incidence of chlamydial antibodies in commercial duck flocks. Veterinary Record 115: 651652

W.S.K. Chalmers , H. Farmer and P.R. Woolcock (1985) Duck hepatitis virus and Chlamydia psittaci outbreak (Correspondence). Veterinary Record 116: 223

M. Cizman and J. Jazbec (1993) Etiology of acute encephalitis in childhood in Slovenia. Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal 12: 903908

H. C. Claas , W.J. Melchers , I.H. de Bruijn , M. de Graaf , W.C. van Dijk , J. Lindeman and W.G. Quint (1990) Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis in clinical specimens by the polymerase chain reaction. European Journal of Clinical Microbiolology and Infectious Diseases 9: 864868

J.D. Corkish and B.J. Bevan (1991) Diagnosis of psittacosis. Veterinary Record 128: 4243

B.A. Crosse (1990) Psittacosis: a clinical review. Journal of Infection 21: 251259

S.B. Dimmitt , J.W. Pearman and K.V. Woollard (1985) Chlamydial endocarditis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine 15: 340342

F. Eb (1993) Chlamydia psittaci: epidemiology, pathology and diagnostic. Médecine et Maladies Infectieuses 23: 919924

R.T. Evans , W.S.K. Chalmers , P.R. Woolcock , H. Farmer and D. Taylor-Robinson (1983) An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of chlamydial antibody in duck sera. Avian Pathology 12: 117124

H. Farmer , W.S.K. Chalmers and P.R. Woolcock (1982) Chlamydia psittaci isolated from the eyes of domestic ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) with conjunctivitis and rhinitis. Veterinary Record 110: 59

R.H. Fitz , G. Meiklejohn and M.D. Baum (1955) Psittacosis in Colorado. American Journal of Medical Science 229: 252261

H. Fukushi and K. Hirai (1992) Proposal of Chlamydia pecorum sp. nov. for chlamydia strains derived from ruminants. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 42: 306308

R. K. Gerloff and D.B. Lackman (1954) Observations regarding the presence of psittacosis and related viruses in the Northwestern States. American Journal of Public Health 44: 323327

R.E. Graber and B.S. Pomeroy (1958) Ornithosis (psittacosis): an epidemiological study of a Wisconsin human outbreak transmitted from turkeys. American Journal of Public Health 48: 14691483

J.T. Grayston , C.-C. Cuo , L.A. Campbell and S.-P. Wang (1989) Chlamydia pneumoniae sp. nov. for Chlamydia sp. strain TWAR. International. Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 39: 8890

J.E. Grimes (1978) Transmission of chlamydiae from grackles to turkeys. Avian Diseases 22: 308312

J.E. Grimes (1987) Zoonoses acquired from pet birds. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice 17: 209218

J.E. Grimes , K.J. Owens and J.R. Singer (1979) Experimental transmission of Chlamydia psittaci to turkeys from wild birds. Avian Diseases 23: 915926

L. Hagmar , A. Schütz , T. Hallberg and A. Sjöholm (1990) Health effects of exposure to endotoxins and organic dust in poultry slaughter-house workers. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 62: 159164

J.W. Harris (1983a) Zoonotic human chlamydiosis of avian origin – a review with particular reference to epidemiology and control. Part I. Epidemiology. World's Poultry Science Journal 39: 523

J.W. Harris (1983b) Zoonotic human chlamydiosis of avian origin – a review with particular reference to epidemiology and control. Part II. Control of zoonotic chlamydiosis. World's Poultry Science Journal 39: 8798

A.J. Herring (1991) PCR test for Chlamydia psittaci [Comment]. Veterinary Record 128: 555

R.G. Hewinson , P.C. Griffith , S.E. Rankin , M. Dawson and M.J. Woodward (1991) Towards a differential polymerase chain reaction test for Chlamydia psittaci [Comment]. Veterinary Record 128: 381382

R.G. Hewinson , S.E. Rankin , B.J. Bevan , M. Field and M.J. Woodward (1991) Detection of Chlamydia psittaci from avian field samples using the PCR. Veterinary Record 128: 129130

D.G. Hinton , A. Shipley , J.W. Galvin , J.T. Harkin and R.A. Brunton (1993) Chlamydiosis in workers at a duck farm and processing plant. Australian Veterinary Journal 70: 174176

D. Hobson and P. Morgan-Capner (1988) Chlamydial antibodies in farmers in north-west England. Epidemiology and Infection 101: 397404

S. M. Holland , C.A. Gaydos and T.C. Quinn (1990) Detection and differentiation of Chlamydia trachomatis, Chlamydia psittaci, and Chlamydia pneumoniae by DNA amplification. Journal of Infectious Diseases 162: 984987

J. V. Irons , D. Mason and R.F. White (1956) Psittacosis (ornithosis) in Texas. Southern Medical Journal 49: 10611064

J. V. Irons , T.D. Sullivan and J. Rowen (1951) Outbreak of psittacosis (ornithosis) from working with turkeys or chickens. American Journal of Public Health 41: 931937

M.C. Johnson and J.E. Grimes (1983) Resistance of wild birds to infection by Chlamydia psittaci of mammalian origin. Journal of Infectious Diseases 147: 162

A. Kikuta , N. Furakawa , T. Yoshida , H. Fukushi , T. Yamaguchi and K. Hirai (1991) Antigenic analysis of avian Chlamydia psittaci using monoclonal antibodies to the major outer membrane protein. Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 53: 385389

G. Klocke and A. Neuer (1993) Stellenwert des Gensondentests in der Routinediagnostik von Chlamydieninfektionen. Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 254: 612615

R.D. Leachman and E.M. Yow (1958) The epidemiology of psittacosis and report of a turkeyborne outbreak. American Medical Association Archives of Internal Medicine 102: 537543

K.A. Linklater , J.C. Low and B.D. Hosie (1987) A field trial of ovine enzootic abortion vaccine. Veterinary Record 121: 303304

C. Maffei , A. Marracino , F. di Stanislao , P. Pauri , M. Clementi and P.E. Varaldo (1987) Psittacosis in a highly endemic area in Italy. Epidemiology and Infection 99: 413419

F. Manresa and J. Dorca (1994) Mycoplasma, coxiella and chlamydial infections. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases 7: 173178

B.K. Markey , M.S. McNulty , D. Todd and D.P. MacKie (1993) Comparison of ovine abortion and non-abortion isolates of Chlamydia psittaci using inclusion morphology, poly-acrylamide gel electrophoresis, restriction endonucleases analysis and reactivity with monoclonal antibodies. Veterinary Microbiology 35: 141159

M.P. Melgosa , C.C. Kuo and L.A. Campbell (1993) Outer membrane complex proteins of Chlamydia pneumoniae. Federation of European Microbiological Societies (FEMS) Microbiology Letters 112: 199204

K.F. Meyer and B. Eddie (1942) Spontaneous ornithosis (psittacosis) in chickens the cause of a human infection. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 49: 522525

M.A. Miller , J.R. Turk , S.L. Nelson , A.P. van der Lek , R. Solorzano , W.H. Fales , M.G. Morehouse and H.S. Gosser (1990) Chlamydial infection in aborted and stillborn lambs. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 2: 5558

J. Nagington (1984) Psittacosis/ornithosis in Cambridgeshire 1975–1983. Journal of Hygiene (London) 92: 919

C.P. Newman , S.R. Palmer , F.D. Kirby and E.O. Caul (1992) A prolonged outbreak of ornithosis in duck processors. Epidemiology and Infection 108: 203210

D.W. Oldach , C.A. Gaydos , L.M. Mundy and T.C. Quinn (1993) Rapid diagnosis of Chlamydia psittaci pneumonia. Clinical Infectious Diseases (Chicago) 17: 338343

L.A. Page (1966) Revision of the family Chlamydiaceae Rake (Rickettsiales): unification of the psittacosis-lymphogranuloma venereum-trachoma-group of organisms in the genus Chlamydia. International Journal of Systematic Bacteriology 16: 223252

K. Persson and J. Treharne (1989) Diagnosis of infection caused by Chlamydia pneumoniae (strain TWAR) in patients with ‘ornithosis’ in Southern Sweden 1981–1987. Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases 21: 675679

M.E. Potter and A.F. Kaufmann (1979) Psittacosis in humans in the United States, 1975–1977. Journal of Infectious Diseases 140: 131134

S.J. Rasmussen , F.P. Douglas and P. Timms (1992) PCR detection and differentiation of Chlamydia pneumoniae, Chlamydia psittaci and Chlamydia trachomatis. Molecular Cell Probes 6: 389394

M.E. Rindge , E.L. Jungherr and J.H. Scruggs (1959) Serologic evidence of occupational psittacosis in poultry plant workers. New England Journal of Medicine 260: 12141218

J.P. Roberts and J.E. Grimes (1978) Chlamydia shedding by four species of wild birds. Avian Diseases 22: 698706

R. Ruppanner , D.E. Behymer , W.J. Delong III, C.E. Franti and T. Schulz (1984) Enzyme immunoassay of chlamydia in birds. Avian Diseases 28: 608615

C. Sato , A. Katumata , I. Takashima and N. Hashimoto (1991a) Cloning and antigenic expression of two genes from Chlamydia psittaci avian strain. Federation of the European Microbiological Societies (FEMS). Microbiology Letters 80: 201206

C. Seki , I. Takashima , J. Arikawa and N. Hashimoto (1988) Monoclonal antibodies to Chlamydia psittaci: characteristics and antigenic analysis. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Science 50: 383393

M. Sillis and P. White (1990) Rapid identification of Chlamydia psittaci and TWAR (C. pneumoniae) in sputum samples using an amplified enzyme immunoassay. Journal of Clinical Pathology 43: 260

M. Sillis , P. White , O. Caul , I.D. Paul and J.D. Treharne (1992) The differentiation of chlamydia species by antigen detection in sputum specimes from patients with community-acquired respiratory infections. Journal of Infection 25: Suppl. 1, 7786

C.F. Stanford , J.H. Connolly , W.A. Ellis , E.T. Smyth , P.V. Coyle , W.I. Montgomery and D.I.H. Simpson (1990) Zoonotic infections in Northern Ireland farmers. Epidemiology and Infection 105: 565570

C. Storey , M. Lusher , P. Yates and S. Richmond (1993) Evidence for Chlamydia pneumoniae of non-human origin. Journal of General Microbiology 139: 26212626

J. Strauss (1967) Microbiologic and epidemiologic aspects of duck ornithosis in Czechoslovakia. American Journal of Opthalmology 63: 12461259

T. Suwa and C. Itakura (1992) Ultrastructural studies of chlamydia-infected air sacs of chicks. Avian Pathology 21: 443452

T. Suwa , S. Ando , N. Hashimoto and C. Itakura (1990) Pathology of experimental chlamydiosis in chicks. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Science 52: 275283

T. Takahashi , I. Takashima and N. Hashimoto (1988a) Immunotyping of Chlamydia psittaci by indirect immunofluorescence antibody test with monoclonal antibodies. Microbiology and Immunology 32: 251263

T. Takahashi , I. Takashima and N. Hashimoto (1988b) A chicken model of systemic infection with Chlamydia psittaci: comparison of the virulence among avian and mammalian strains. Japanese Journal of Veterinary Science 50: 622631

T. Takahashi , I. Takashima and N. Hashimoto (1988c) Shedding and transmission of Chlamydia psittaci in experimentally infected chickens. Avian Diseases 32: 650658

P. Timms , F.W. Eaves , B.J. Rodwell and M.F. Lavin (1988) Comparison of DNA-spot hybridization, cell culture and direct immunofluorescence staining for the diagnosis of avian chlamydiae. Veterinary Microbiolology 18: 1525

C. Y. W. Tong and M. Sillis (1993) Detection of Chlamydia pneumoniae and Chlamydia psittaci in sputum samples by PCR. Journal of Clinical Pathology 46: 313317

D. Vanrompay , R. Ducatelle , F. Haesebrouk and W. Hendrickx (1993b) Primary pathogenicity of an European isolate of Chlamydia psittaci from turkey poults. Veterinary Microbiology 38: 103113

D. Vanrompay , R. Ducatelle and F. Haesebrouk (1994) Pathogenicity for turkeys of Chlamydia psittaci strains belonging to the avian serovars A, B and D. Avian Patholology 23: 247262

J.W. Walker , K.A. Glass , S.E. Hand , F.M. Jones and L.W. Pessara (1976) Cooperative state-federal turkey ornithosis task force, Texas, 1974. Avian Diseases 20: 355360

G. Ward and J. Birge (1952) Psittacosis (ornithosis) following contact with pheasants. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 150: 217219

G.C. Ward , A.L. Hildinger , R.A. Morrisey and J.P. Birge (1954) Psittacosis-lymphogranuloma venerum virus antibodies in man. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 155: 11461150

J.M. Wills (1986) Chlamydia zoonoses. Journal of Small Animal Practice 27: 717731

A.J. Wilsmore , M. Dawson , C.J. Trower , C. Venables and M.J. Arthur (1986) Ovine enzootic abortion: field observations on naturally acquired and vaccine-elicited delayed type hypersensitivity to Chlamydia psittaci (ovis). Veterinary Record 118: 331332

A.J. Wilsmore , K.A. Izzard , G.J. Dagnall , B.C. Wilsmore and R.M. Woodland (1990a) Protection of ewes vaccinated with A22 strain Chlamydia psittaci (ovis) against challenge in pregnancy with homologous and heterologous strains of the organism. British Veterinary Journal 146: 349353

A.J. Wilsmore , B.C. Wilsmore , G.J. Dagnall , K.A. Izzard , R.M. Woodland , M. Dawson and C. Venables (1990b) Clinical and immunological responses of ewes following vaccination with an experimental formalin-inactivated Chlamydia psittaci (ovis) vaccine and subsequent challenge with the live organism during pregnancy. British Veterinary Journal 146: 341348

D. K. Winsor and J.E. Grimes (1988) Relationship between infectivity and cytopathology for L-929 cells, membrane proteins, and antigenicity of avian isolates of Chlamydia psittaci. Avian Diseases 32: 421431

T.G. Wreghitt , W.S.K. Chalmers and E.O. Caul (1985) Chlamydia psittaci infection in a man and his birds. Journal of Clinical Pathology 38: 10801081

T.G. Wreghitt , V. Robinson , E.O. Caul , I.D. Paul and S. Gatley (1988) The development and evaluation of a μ-capture ELISA detecting chlamydia-specific IgM. Epidemiology and Infection 101: 387395

T.G. Wreghitt , C.E. Barker , J.D. Treharne , J.M. Phipps , V. Robinson and R.B. Buttery (1990) A study of human respiratory tract chlamydial infections in Cambridgeshire 1986–1988. Epidemiology and Infection 104: 479488

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

World's Poultry Science Journal
  • ISSN: 0043-9339
  • EISSN: 1743-4777
  • URL: /core/journals/world-s-poultry-science-journal
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *