Chlamydiosis (ornithosis, psittacosis) is an infectious disease of birds that can be transmitted to humans. Human infections are probably acquired by inhalation of aerosols containing elementary bodies of the causative agent Chlamydia psittaci, from bird droppings, or from tissues. Infected birds do not have to be ill to transmit the organism (Schachter and Dawson 1978). The disease in humans is considered an occupational risk for people working with pet birds (particularly psittacine species) and poultry, but all avian species can be considered as potential reservoirs (Schachter and Dawson 1978). Burkhart and Page (1971) listed >130 species of wild birds as being infected.
The purpose of this report is to draw the dis- ease to the attention of those working with wild birds by describing 2 cases acquired from wild waterfowl and by reviewing other information on human infections associated with wild birds. We do this because the disease can be serious if not treated properly, and because the disease is not usually associated with wild birds the diagnosis may not be considered by physicians with- out some prompting from the patient.
Additional Publication Details
Chlamydiosis in 2 biologists investigating disease occurrences in wild waterfowl