Author(s): Heddema ER, van Hannen EJ, Duim B, de Jongh BM, Kaan JA,
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Abstract An outbreak of psittacosis in a veterinary teaching hospital was recognized in December 2004. Outbreak management was instituted to evaluate the extent of the outbreak and to determine the avian source. Real-time PCR, serologic testing and sequencing of the ompA gene of Chlamydophila psittaci were performed. Sputum samples from patients, throat-swab samples from exposed students and staff, and faecal specimens from parrots and pigeons were tested. In this outbreak, 34 \% (10/29) of the tested individuals were infected. The clinical features of the infection ranged from none to sepsis with multi-organ failure requiring intensive-care-unit admission. C. psittaci genotype A was identified as the outbreak strain. Parrots, recently exposed to a group of cockatiels coming from outside the teaching facility, which were used in a practical class, appeared to be the source of the outbreak. One of the tested pigeons harboured an unrelated C. psittaci genotype B strain. The microbiological diagnosis by real-time PCR on clinical specimens allowed for rapid outbreak management; subsequent genotyping of the isolates identified the avian source. Recommendations are made to reduce the incidence and extent of future outbreaks.
This article was published in J Med Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine