Assessment of Avian Chlamydiosis Using Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction Test, and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay in Turkey
Chlamydiosis (also known as parrot fever, ornithosis or Psittacosis) is a widespread disease caused by a virus like bacteria called Chlamydia psittaci. There is no single diagnostic test in the live bird that can absolutely show the presence of Chlamydia in all cases.
In the present study, chlamydiosis was investigated in cage birds using two direct techniques, namely RT-PCR were used to diagnose Chlamydia infection and a dot-ELISA for Chlamydia psittaci antibodies were used to determine the immune responses. Blood and pooled samples for RT-PCR, and serum samples for ELISA test were taken from 27 caged birds. They were apparently healthy with no problems (n=18) or with symptoms suggestive of chlamydiosis (n=9) such as lethargy, loss of appetite, and signs of respiratory and digestive tract disease.
Except two positive controls neither pooled nor blood samples were positive with RT-PCR technique. However total 6 (22%) birds were positive for Chlamydia psittaci antibodies with ELISA. ELISA positive species were cockatoos (n=1), macaws (n=3), Amazon (n=1) and budgies (n=1). ELISA test positive 4 birds were treated with first inject able than continued with oral doxycline for two mounts. These birds retested 8 months later and no decrease in titter were determined in the second test.
Results of PCR suggest that it may only mean that he bird was not shedding the organism at the time that the specimen was collected. And ELISA test results suggest that these positive birds might be infected long ago (months, even years) but never presented severe signs. This study proves that positive diagnosis of chlamydiosis in the live bird is difficult. Macaws, cockatiels, budgies and amazons seem to be particularly susceptible.