Chlamydophila psittaci was identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of choano–cloacal combination swabs collected from 9 of 15 fruit doves of different species. These birds were housed in close proximity to other individuals, and all birds were considered exposed to C psittaci infection. Group treatment was initiated by offering doxycycline hyclate in drinking water at 0.5 g/L for 45 days. During the treatment period, 18 fruit doves representing 4 species (including 5 birds that tested positive for C psittaci) were observed daily and weighed and examined weekly. Plasma doxycycline concentrations in these birds were measured at treatment days 3, 8, 14, 21, 35, and 42. Lacrimo–choanal–cloacal combination swabs were collected for C psittaci PCR testing at 5, 10, and 15 days after treatment ended. No adverse effects of treatment were observed. Mean plasma doxycycline concentration for all samples was 1.56 ± 1.3 μg/ml. After treatment, all 18 selected birds tested negative for C psittaci. Also, C psittaci was not detected in 49 additional lacrimo–choanal– cloacal combination swabs collected from the larger group of exposed birds during a 6-month period after treatment. The results of this study suggest that doxycycline-medicated drinking water may offer a safe, inexpensive, and practical method to treat fruit doves infected with C psittaci.
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Vol. 19 • No. 2