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Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci in the feral pigeon population of Basel, Switzerland

Ila Geigenfeind, Daisy Vanrompay UGent and Daniel Haag-Wackernagel (2012) JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY. 61(2). p.261-265
abstract
Feral pigeons (Columba livia) are commonly infected with Chlamydia psittaci, the agent of psittacosis in humans. To assess the risk of zoonosis posed by feral pigeons in the urban environment, we determined the prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci by detection of the outermembrane protein A (ompA) gene of this pathogen in pharyngeal and cloacal samples of 202 feral pigeons present in a loft in Basel, Switzerland. Additionally, we examined 620 fresh faecal droppings of feral pigeons at six public sites in Basel. The ompA gene of C. psittaci could be detected in only 17 (8.4%) of the 202 feral pigeons in the loft. C. psittaci DNA was present in nine (2.0 %) of 447 of the pharyngeal swabs and 11(3.2 %) of the 348 cloacal swabs. Genotyping of the ompA gene revealed genotype B in seven of the birds. In one bird, a mixed infection was detected with the genotypes A, B and E/B, which, to our knowledge is the first time such an infection has been reported. Some of these birds immigrated into the loft as adults. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document how the interconnectedness between feral pigeon subpopulations favours the spread of C. psittaci. C. psittaci DNA was not detected in any of the faecal droppings collected at the six public areas. In spite of the low levels of C. psittaci shedding by feral pigeons in Basel, close contact to feral pigeons bears the risk of zoonotic transmission of C. psittaci. Feral pigeon management programmes and public education should be implemented to reduce the risk of a pigeon-to-human transmission of such pathogenic agents.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
COLUMBA-LIVIA, CHLAMYDOPHILA-PSITTACI, INFECTIONS, GENOTYPE, BIRDS, GENUS, PCR
journal title
JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY
J. Med. Microbiol.
volume
61
issue
2
pages
261 - 265
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000300340500013
JCR category
MICROBIOLOGY
JCR impact factor
2.297 (2012)
JCR rank
61/116 (2012)
JCR quartile
3 (2012)
ISSN
0022-2615
DOI
10.1099/jmm.0.034025-0
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
2041349
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-2041349
date created
2012-02-22 20:30:08
date last changed
2012-09-28 16:08:54
@article{2041349,
  abstract     = {Feral pigeons (Columba livia) are commonly infected with Chlamydia psittaci, the agent of psittacosis in humans. To assess the risk of zoonosis posed by feral pigeons in the urban environment, we determined the prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci by detection of the outermembrane protein A (ompA) gene of this pathogen in pharyngeal and cloacal samples of 202 feral pigeons present in a loft in Basel, Switzerland. Additionally, we examined 620 fresh faecal droppings of feral pigeons at six public sites in Basel. The ompA gene of C. psittaci could be detected in only 17 (8.4\%) of the 202 feral pigeons in the loft. C. psittaci DNA was present in nine (2.0 \%) of 447 of the pharyngeal swabs and 11(3.2 \%) of the 348 cloacal swabs. Genotyping of the ompA gene revealed genotype B in seven of the birds. In one bird, a mixed infection was detected with the genotypes A, B and E/B, which, to our knowledge is the first time such an infection has been reported. Some of these birds immigrated into the loft as adults. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document how the interconnectedness between feral pigeon subpopulations favours the spread of C. psittaci. C. psittaci DNA was not detected in any of the faecal droppings collected at the six public areas. In spite of the low levels of C. psittaci shedding by feral pigeons in Basel, close contact to feral pigeons bears the risk of zoonotic transmission of C. psittaci. Feral pigeon management programmes and public education should be implemented to reduce the risk of a pigeon-to-human transmission of such pathogenic agents.},
  author       = {Geigenfeind, Ila and Vanrompay, Daisy and Haag-Wackernagel , Daniel},
  issn         = {0022-2615},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY},
  keyword      = {COLUMBA-LIVIA,CHLAMYDOPHILA-PSITTACI,INFECTIONS,GENOTYPE,BIRDS,GENUS,PCR},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {261--265},
  title        = {Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci in the feral pigeon population of Basel, Switzerland},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.034025-0},
  volume       = {61},
  year         = {2012},
}

Chicago
Geigenfeind, Ila, Daisy Vanrompay, and Daniel Haag-Wackernagel . 2012. “Prevalence of Chlamydia Psittaci in the Feral Pigeon Population of Basel, Switzerland.” Journal of Medical Microbiology 61 (2): 261–265.
APA
Geigenfeind, I., Vanrompay, D., & Haag-Wackernagel , D. (2012). Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci in the feral pigeon population of Basel, Switzerland. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY, 61(2), 261–265.
Vancouver
1.
Geigenfeind I, Vanrompay D, Haag-Wackernagel D. Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci in the feral pigeon population of Basel, Switzerland. JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY. 2012;61(2):261–5.
MLA
Geigenfeind, Ila, Daisy Vanrompay, and Daniel Haag-Wackernagel . “Prevalence of Chlamydia Psittaci in the Feral Pigeon Population of Basel, Switzerland.” JOURNAL OF MEDICAL MICROBIOLOGY 61.2 (2012): 261–265. Print.