Chlamydia psittaci, an obligate intracellular gram-negative bacteria, causes an important zoonotic disease in humans, namely, psittacosis. The objective of this study was to determine the persistent viability of C. psittaci at various temperature conditions. The cloacal swab samples were collected from feral and racing pigeons to find a C. psittaci field strain. The bacterial isolation showed that 1.3% of feral pigeons were PCR positive, while all samples of racing pigeons were PCR negative. Also, bacterial characterization suggested that it belonged to genotype B, which had bacterial titers 3.2 and 3.89 log 50% lethal dose/ml, respectively. A bacterial persistence test was performed, and the results showed that C. psittaci could survive at 56 C for up to 72 hr. In conclusion, C. psittaci could be found in feral pigeons in central Thailand. The bacteria can survive in equatorial temperature areas. This study was the first to report that C. psittaci could survive and has infectivity at 56 C for 72 hr. Therefore, awareness of C. psittaci infection in humans is necessary and should be a public health concern.
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Vol. 61 • No. 1