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AVIAN chlamydiosis is primarily caused by the intracellular bacterium Chlamydia psittaci, belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family. Depending on the species and age of the bird and the virulence of the infectious bacterial strain, avian chlamydiosis can be subclinical or characterised by respiratory, digestive, or systemic disorders (Knittler and others 2014).
Seven C. psittaci outer-membrane protein A (ompA) genotypes (A-F and E/B), have been initially detected in birds. All these genotypes can be transmitted to humans by contact with contaminated faeces or feathers or by inhalation of an infectious aerosol, causing a mild flu-like illness or severe atypical pneumonia. Recently, six additional C. psittaci ompA genotypes, all occurring in wildlife birds, have been proposed (Sachse and others 2008).
Recent studies suggested that more chlamydial agents, beyond C. psittaci, can be involved in avian chlamydiosis. In this respect, Chlamydia abortus, Chlamydia pecorum, Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae have been detected in birds (Pantchev and others 2009, Sachse and others 2012, Frutos and others 2015). Recently, two new bacterial species belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family have been described: Chlamydia avium from pigeons and psittacine birds and Chlamydia gallinacea from poultry (Sachse and others 2014). In addition, a novel candidate species, named Chlamydia ibidis, …