Epidemiology and Infection


PCR detection of Chlamydia psittaci in faecal samples from passerine birds in Sweden

B. OLSEN a1c1, K. PERSSON a2 and K.-A. BROHOLM a1
a1 Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Umeå, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
a2 Department of Clinical Virology, Malmö General Hospital, Malmö, Sweden


To investigate to what extent wild passerine birds are carriers of Chlamydia psittaci, 312 faecal samples from 18 bird species were collected. Using the PCR technique and subsequent DNA sequencing, C. psittaci DNA was demonstrated in faecal samples from 9 (2·9%) birds of 6 different species. Sera from 65 bird-ringers, highly exposed to wild birds, were tested by microimmunofluorescence assay for the occurrence of IgG and IgM antibodies to C. psittaci. No such antibodies were found. This results indicate that a significant proportion of wild passerine birds are carriers of C. psittaci, but rarely infectious to humans.

(Accepted April 5 1998)

c1 Author for correspondence.