Gary Balsamo, Angela M. Maxted, Joanne W. Midla, Julia M. Murphy, Ron Wohrle, Thomas M. Edling, Pilar H. Fish, Keven Flammer, Denise Hyde, Preeta K. Kutty, Miwako Kobayashi, Bettina Helm, Brit Oiulfstad, Branson W. Ritchie, Mary Grace Stobierski, Karen Ehnert, Thomas N. Tully Jr.
Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 31 (3), 262-282, (1 September 2017) https://doi.org/10.1647/217-265
KEYWORDS: psittacosis, avian chlamydiosis, Chlamydia psittaci, compendium, Avian, pet bird
Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever and ornithosis, is a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia and other serious health problems in humans. It is caused by Chlamydia psittaci. Reclassification of the order Chlamydiales in 1999 into 2 genera (Chlamydia and Chlamydophila) was not wholly accepted or adopted. This resulted in a reversion to the single, original genus Chlamydia, which now encompasses all 9 species including Chlamydia psittaci. During 2003–2014, 112 human cases of psittacosis were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Nationally Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System. While many types of birds can be infected by C psittaci, in general, the literature suggests that human cases can most often occur after exposure to infected parrot-type birds kept as pets, especially cockatiels, parakeets, and conures. In birds, C psittaci infection is referred to as avian chlamydiosis. Infected birds shed the bacteria through feces and nasal discharges, and humans become infected from exposure to these materials. This compendium provides information about psittacosis and avian chlamydiosis to public health officials, physicians, veterinarians, the pet bird industry, and others concerned with controlling these diseases and protecting public health. The recommendations in this compendium provide standardized procedures to control C psittaci infections. This document will be reviewed and revised as necessary, and the most current version replaces all previous versions. This document was last revised in 2010. Major changes in this version include a recommendation for a shorter treatment time for birds with avian chlamydiosis, additional information about diagnostic testing, including genotyping, clearer language associated with personal protective equipment recommended for those caring for confirmed or exposed birds, and incorporating a grading scale with recommendations generally based on the United States Preventive Services Task Force's methods.