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Experimental conjunctival infection of lambs with a strain of Chlamydia psittaci isolated from the eyes of a sheep naturally affected with keratoconjunctivitis
  1. AJ Wilsmore,
  2. GJ Dagnall and
  3. RM Woodland
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, Royal Veterinary College, Potters Bar.


Five ram-lambs were inoculated into the left conjunctival sac with the 15R isolate of Chlamydia psittaci, recovered from a sheep with keratoconjunctivitis. A sixth ram-lamb was kept in contact with them. The five lambs developed varying degrees of acute conjunctivitis and 14 days later C psittaci could be recovered from the inoculated eyes, from which Branhamella ovis was also isolated. The eyes were examined regularly for four months; C psittaci could not be re-isolated but the eyes developed varying degrees of follicular conjunctivitis. After four months the sheep were treated with corticosteroids in an attempt to reactivate a latent chlamydial infection but no chlamydiae could be isolated. Five months after the start of the experiment the six lambs were inoculated with 15R into the left conjunctival sacs. Acute conjunctivitis developed which was not as severe as after the first inoculation, but C psittaci could only be recovered from the left eyes of three sheep three days after inoculation. The eyes remained chronically affected by follicular conjunctivitis. Six months after the start of the experiment the left eyes were again inoculated with 15R; on this occasion acute conjunctivitis did not develop and chlamydiae could not be isolated. Chronic follicular conjunctivitis persisted until the experiment was terminated three months later.

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