Special Issue "Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacterial Pathogens".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Martina Jelocnik
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Genecology Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs 4557, Australia
Interests: Chlamydia; wildlife; domesticated animals; molecular microbiology; comparative genomics; diagnostics
Dr. Hanna Marti
E-Mail
Guest Editor
Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse-Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
Interests: Chlamydia; One Health; zoonotic diseases; Chlamydia suis; pigs; antibiotic resistance; diagnostics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Chlamydiae are indeed fascinating organisms. In particular, it is the successful and enigmatic animal chlamydiae that remain in the spotlight and attract attention as significant pathogens of wildlife and domesticated animals. Species such as Chlamydia (C.) psittaci, C. abortus, C. felis, C. caviae, and C. suis are also recognized for their zoonotic potential and risks to human health, whilst C. pecorum is globally known as “the infamous koala bug” and a widespread livestock pathogen. The recent discovery of novel animal chlamydial species has expanded not just the taxonomy, but also the host range.

Advances in the research of animal Chlamydiae have provided some answers, but have also led to more questions about the epidemiology (where, when, who/what, and how) of these infections as well as disease pathogenesis, the genetic diversity of infecting organisms, and infection/disease control and management.

This Special Issue, ‘Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine’, aims to showcase the current research landscape in the sphere of veterinary chlamydial infections and disease. Therefore, we invite the submission of original research articles, case studies or short reports, reviews, as well as opinion pieces that highlight the genetic diversity of chlamydial organisms, the pathogenesis of chlamydial disease, interaction with the host immune system, zoonotic events, epidemiology, the development of novel diagnostic tools, and therapeutic and preventive measures.

We welcome and look forward to your contribution. Please contact us if you are considering submitting a review.

Dr. Martina Jelocnik
Dr. Hanna Marti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Chlamydia
  • animals
  • infections
  • disease
  • zoonoses
  • One Health
  • genetic diversity
  • emerging infections and hosts
  • molecular epidemiology
  • diagnostics

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Article
Completing the Genome Sequence of Chlamydia pecorum Strains MC/MarsBar and DBDeUG: New Insights into This Enigmatic Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) Pathogen
Pathogens 2021, 10(12), 1543; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10121543 (registering DOI) - 25 Nov 2021
Viewed by 206
Abstract
Chlamydia pecorum, an obligate intracellular pathogen, causes significant morbidity and mortality in livestock and the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). A variety of C. pecorum gene-centric molecular studies have revealed important observations about infection dynamics and genetic diversity in both koala and [...] Read more.
Chlamydia pecorum, an obligate intracellular pathogen, causes significant morbidity and mortality in livestock and the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). A variety of C. pecorum gene-centric molecular studies have revealed important observations about infection dynamics and genetic diversity in both koala and livestock hosts. In contrast to a variety of C. pecorum molecular studies, to date, only four complete and 16 draft genomes have been published. Of those, only five draft genomes are from koalas. Here, using whole-genome sequencing and a comparative genomics approach, we describe the first two complete C. pecorum genomes collected from diseased koalas. A de novo assembly of DBDeUG_2018 and MC/MarsBar_2018 resolved the chromosomes and chlamydial plasmids each as single, circular contigs. Robust phylogenomic analyses indicate biogeographical separation between strains from northern and southern koala populations, and between strains infecting koala and livestock hosts. Comparative genomics between koala strains identified new, unique, and shared loci that accumulate single-nucleotide polymorphisms and separate between northern and southern, and within northern koala strains. Furthermore, we predicted novel type III secretion system effectors. This investigation constitutes a comprehensive genome-wide comparison between C. pecorum from koalas and provides improvements to annotations of a C. pecorum reference genome. These findings lay the foundations for identifying and understanding host specificity and adaptation behind chlamydial infections affecting koalas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Whole Genome Sequencing and Comparative Genome Analyses of Chlamydia abortus Strains of Avian Origin Suggests That Chlamydia abortus Species Should Be Expanded to Include Avian and Mammalian Subgroups
Pathogens 2021, 10(11), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10111405 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 379
Abstract
A variety of Chlamydia species belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family have been reported in birds. Until recently, C. psittaci was considered to be the most common avian species, although found in both birds and mammals, while C. abortus has only been found in [...] Read more.
A variety of Chlamydia species belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family have been reported in birds. Until recently, C. psittaci was considered to be the most common avian species, although found in both birds and mammals, while C. abortus has only been found in mammals. Recently, a new group of avian C. abortus strains with worldwide distribution in various wild bird families has been described. In this study, whole genome sequencing (WGS) of three of these strains (15-70d24, 15-49d3 and 15-58d44, representing genotypes G1, G2 and 1V, respectively) that were isolated from wild birds were analysed. Genome assemblies based on both short-read Illumina and long-read Nanopore data indicate that these avian C. abortus strains show features characteristic of both C. abortus and C. psittaci species, although phylogenetic analyses demonstrate a closer relationship with classical C. abortus strains. Currently, species classification established by the ICSP Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Chlamydiae, determines that these avian C. abortus strains 15-70d24, 15-49d3 and 15-58d44 should be classified as C. abortus. However, the authors of this study conclude that the current taxonomic definition of C. abortus is outdated and should be amended to include two subgroups, mammalian and avian, the latter of which would include all isolates so far referred to as atypical C. psittaci or C. psittaci/C. abortus intermediates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Chlamydia pecorum Ovine Abortion: Associations between Maternal Infection and Perinatal Mortality
Pathogens 2021, 10(11), 1367; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10111367 - 22 Oct 2021
Viewed by 459
Abstract
Chlamydia pecorum is a common gastrointestinal inhabitant of livestock but infections can manifest in a broad array of clinical presentations and in a range of host species. While C. pecorum is a known cause of ovine abortion, clinical cases have only recently been [...] Read more.
Chlamydia pecorum is a common gastrointestinal inhabitant of livestock but infections can manifest in a broad array of clinical presentations and in a range of host species. While C. pecorum is a known cause of ovine abortion, clinical cases have only recently been described in detail. Here, the prevalence and sequence types (STs) of C. pecorum in ewes from a property experiencing high levels of perinatal mortality (PNM) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, were investigated using serological and molecular methods. Ewes that were PNM+ were statistically more likely to test seropositive compared to PNM− ewes and displayed higher antibody titres; however, an increase in chlamydial shedding from either the rectum, vagina or conjunctiva of PNM+ ewes was not observed. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) indicated that C. pecorum ST23 was the major ST shed by ewes in the flock, was the only ST identified from the vaginal site, and was the same ST detected within aborted foetal tissues. Whole genome sequencing of C. pecorum isolated from one abortion case revealed that the C. pecorum plasmid (pCpec) contained a unique deletion in coding sequence 1 (CDS1) that was also present in C. pecorum ST23 shed from the ewes. A further unique deletion was noted in a polymorphic membrane protein gene (pmpG) of the C. pecorum chromosome, which warrants further investigation given the role of PmpG in host cell adherence and tissue tropism.This study describes novel infection parameters in a sheep flock experiencing C. pecorum-associated perinatal mortality, provides the first genomic data from an abortigenic C. pecorum strain, and raises questions about possible links between unique genetic features of this strain and C. pecorum abortion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Chlamydia caviae in Swiss and Dutch Guinea Pigs—Occurrence and Genetic Diversity
Pathogens 2021, 10(10), 1230; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10101230 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 641
Abstract
Chlamydia (C.) caviae is a known pathogen in guinea pigs, causing conjunctivitis, respiratory infections and abortions. Recently, a C. caviae-induced zoonotic link was identified as the etiology of severe community-acquired pneumonia in humans. Here, 784 conjunctival and rectal swabs originating from 260 [...] Read more.
Chlamydia (C.) caviae is a known pathogen in guinea pigs, causing conjunctivitis, respiratory infections and abortions. Recently, a C. caviae-induced zoonotic link was identified as the etiology of severe community-acquired pneumonia in humans. Here, 784 conjunctival and rectal swabs originating from 260 guinea pigs and 110 rabbits from 64 husbandries in Switzerland, as well as 200 composite conjunctival swabs originating from 878 guinea pigs from 37 husbandries in The Netherlands were examined by real-time PCR followed by conventional PCR and sequencing. Chlamydiaceae were detected in 2.3% (18/784) and 12.5% (25/200) of all Swiss and Dutch samples, respectively. An overall C. caviae occurrence was detected in 2.7% (7/260) and 8.9% (78/878) of all Swiss and Dutch guinea pigs, respectively. OmpA genotyping of 64 C. caviae-positive samples resulted in 33 sequences sharing 100% nucleotide identity with the strains isolated from the zoonotic transmission cases in The Netherlands. However, all ompA sequences of this study were distinct from the C. caviae GPIC reference strain. C. caviae was not detected in rabbits but C. psittaci genotype A was identified in guinea pigs and rabbits, raising concerns about the importance of these animal species as novel zoonotic sources for C. psittaci. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Communication
Real-Time Fluorometric Isothermal LAMP Assay for Detection of Chlamydia pecorum in Rapidly Processed Ovine Abortion Samples: A Veterinary Practitioner’s Perspective
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091157 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Traditional methods of detecting Chlamydia pecorum in tissue samples such as polymerase chain reaction or cell culture are laborious and costly. We evaluated the use of a previously developed C. pecorum LAMP assay using minimally processed ovine samples. Cotyledon (n = 16), [...] Read more.
Traditional methods of detecting Chlamydia pecorum in tissue samples such as polymerase chain reaction or cell culture are laborious and costly. We evaluated the use of a previously developed C. pecorum LAMP assay using minimally processed ovine samples. Cotyledon (n = 16), foetal liver (n = 22), foetal lung (n = 2), and vaginal (n = 6) swabs, in addition to cotyledon (n = 6) and foetal liver (n = 8) tissue samples, were rapidly processed and used for LAMP testing without DNA extraction. Overall, LAMP test results were highly congruent with the in-house reference qPCR, with 80.43% (37/46; 72.73% positive agreement (PA); 84.75% negative agreement (NA)) overall agreeance for swab samples, and 85.71% (12/14; 80% PA; 88.89% NA) overall agreeance for tissue samples. Out of the 11 total discrepant results, discrepancy was mainly observed in samples (n = 10) with less than 100 copies/µL C. pecorum DNA. While sensitivity could be improved, the simplicity, low cost, and accuracy of detection makes this test amenable for use at point-of-care for detecting C. pecorum in sheep. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Communication
Is Chlamydia to Blame for Koala Reproductive Cysts?
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1140; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091140 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 920
Abstract
A significant threat to koala populations is infection from Chlamydia, which results in disease and death. Wild koalas with Chlamydia infections are admitted to wildlife hospitals and treated with antibiotics; however, up to 50% of koalas that present to wildlife hospitals do [...] Read more.
A significant threat to koala populations is infection from Chlamydia, which results in disease and death. Wild koalas with Chlamydia infections are admitted to wildlife hospitals and treated with antibiotics; however, up to 50% of koalas that present to wildlife hospitals do not survive. A major contributor to high mortality is the development of reproductive cysts, resulting in female infertility and euthanasia. However, the diagnosis of reproductive disease is limited to ultrasound with no further investigations. This communication highlights reports of histological and microbiological findings, the accuracy of ultrasound to necropsy reports and other possible causes for reproductive cyst development previously reported in other hosts. Our conclusions identify a significant knowledge gap in the aetiology of koala reproductive cysts and highlight the urgent need for future investigations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
Article
Characteristics of Chlamydia suis Ocular Infection in Pigs
Pathogens 2021, 10(9), 1103; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10091103 - 29 Aug 2021
Viewed by 702
Abstract
Chlamydia (C.) suis can often be isolated from conjunctival swab specimens from pigs with conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis. In the field, it is assumed to be a multifactorial disease triggered by immunosuppressing factors. This is the first experimental study to provoke clinical [...] Read more.
Chlamydia (C.) suis can often be isolated from conjunctival swab specimens from pigs with conjunctivitis or keratoconjunctivitis. In the field, it is assumed to be a multifactorial disease triggered by immunosuppressing factors. This is the first experimental study to provoke clinical signs of conjunctivitis in pigs after C. suis primary mono-infection. Five six-week-old male piglets, free of ocular chlamydia shedding and seronegative for Chlamydia, were conjunctivally infected with the C. suis-type strain S45 (1 × 109 inclusion forming units), while four piglets served as negative controls. The infection group developed clinical signs of conjunctivitis with a peak in the first week post-infection. Immunohistochemical evaluation revealed the presence of Chlamydia not only in the conjunctival epithelium, but also in the enlarged lacrimal glands, lungs, and intestine. No circulating antibodies could be detected during the whole study period of three weeks, although three different test systems were applied as follows: the complement fixation test, MOMP-based Chlamydiaceae ELISA, and PmpC-based C. suis ELISA. Meanwhile, high numbers of IFN-γ-producing lymphocytes within PBMC were seen after C. suis re-stimulation 14 days post-infection. Hence, these data suggest that entry via the eye may not elicit immunological responses comparable to other routes of chlamydial infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Chlamydia Psittaci ST24: Clonal Strains of One Health Importance Dominate in Australian Horse, Bird and Human Infections
Pathogens 2021, 10(8), 1015; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10081015 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 1157
Abstract
Chlamydia psittaci is traditionally regarded as a globally distributed avian pathogen that can cause zoonotic spill-over. Molecular research has identified an extended global host range and significant genetic diversity. However, Australia has reported a reduced host range (avian, horse, and human) with a [...] Read more.
Chlamydia psittaci is traditionally regarded as a globally distributed avian pathogen that can cause zoonotic spill-over. Molecular research has identified an extended global host range and significant genetic diversity. However, Australia has reported a reduced host range (avian, horse, and human) with a dominance of clonal strains, denoted ST24. To better understand the widespread of this strain type in Australia, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and ompA genotyping were applied on samples from a range of hosts (avian, equine, marsupial, and bovine) from Australia. MLST confirms that clonal ST24 strains dominate infections of Australian psittacine and equine hosts (82/88; 93.18%). However, this study also found novel hosts (Australian white ibis, King parrots, racing pigeon, bovine, and a wallaby) and demonstrated that strain diversity does exist in Australia. The discovery of a C. psittaci novel strain (ST306) in a novel host, the Western brush wallaby, is the first detection in a marsupial. Analysis of the results of this study applied a multidisciplinary approach regarding Chlamydia infections, equine infectious disease, ecology, and One Health. Recommendations include an update for the descriptive framework of C. psittaci disease and cell biology work to inform pathogenicity and complement molecular epidemiology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Occurrence of Chlamydiaceae and Chlamydia felis pmp9 Typing in Conjunctival and Rectal Samples of Swiss Stray and Pet Cats
Pathogens 2021, 10(8), 951; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10080951 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 618
Abstract
Chlamydia (C.) felis primarily replicates in feline conjunctival epithelial cells and is an important cause of conjunctivitis in cats. Data on C. felis infection rates in stray cats in Switzerland has been missing so far. We performed a qPCR-based Chlamydiaceae-screening [...] Read more.
Chlamydia (C.) felis primarily replicates in feline conjunctival epithelial cells and is an important cause of conjunctivitis in cats. Data on C. felis infection rates in stray cats in Switzerland has been missing so far. We performed a qPCR-based Chlamydiaceae-screening on 565 conjunctival and 387 rectal samples from 309 stray and 86 pet cats followed by Chlamydia species identification and C. felis typing using the gene pmp9, which encodes a polymorphic membrane protein. Overall, 19.1% of the stray and 11.6% of the pet cats were Chlamydiaceae-positive with significantly higher rates in cats displaying signs of conjunctivitis (37.1%) compared to healthy animals (6.9%). Rectal shedding of Chlamydiaceae occurred in 25.0% of infected cats and was mostly associated with concurrent ocular positivity (87.5%). In 92.2% of positive conjunctival and rectal samples, the Chlamydia species was identified as C. felis and in 2.6% as C. abortus. The C. felis pmp9 gene was very conserved in the sampled population with only one single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in one conjunctival sample. In conclusion, C. felis strains are circulating in Swiss cats, are associated with conjunctivitis, have a low pmp9 genetic variability, and are rectally shed in about 16% of positive cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Co-Infection of Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and Chlamydia psittaci Contributes to Salpingitis of Laying Layers and Breeder Ducks
Pathogens 2021, 10(6), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10060755 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 889
Abstract
Salpingitis is manifested as hemorrhagic follicular inflammation exudations and peritonitis, leading to reduced egg production and high culling of breeder flocks. From 2018 to 2021, increasing salpingitis during egg peak is threatening the poultry industry post-artificial insemination, both in breeder layers and breeder [...] Read more.
Salpingitis is manifested as hemorrhagic follicular inflammation exudations and peritonitis, leading to reduced egg production and high culling of breeder flocks. From 2018 to 2021, increasing salpingitis during egg peak is threatening the poultry industry post-artificial insemination, both in breeder layers and breeder ducks across China. In our study, Escherichia coli (E. coli), Enterococcus faecalis(E. faecalis) and Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci) were isolated and identified from the diseased oviducts using biochemical tests and PCR. To identify and isolate pathogenicity, we inoculated the isolates into laying hens via an intravaginal route. Later, laying hens developed typical salpingitis after receiving the combination of the aforementioned three isolates (1 × 105 IFU/mL of C. psittaci and 1 × 106 CFU/mL of E. faecalis and E. coli, respectively), while less oviduct inflammation was observed in the layers inoculated with the above isolate alone. Furthermore, 56 breeder ducks were divided into seven groups, eight ducks per group. The birds received the combination of three isolates, synergic infection of E. coli and E. faecalis, and C. psittaci alone via vaginal tract, while the remaining ducks were inoculated with physiological saline as the control group. Egg production was monitored daily and lesions of oviducts and follicles were determined post-infection on day 6. Interestingly, typical salpingitis, degenerated follicles and yolk peritonitis were obviously found in the synergic infection of three isolates and the birds inoculated with C. psittaci alone developed hemorrhagic follicles and white exudates in oviducts, while birds with E. faecalis or E. coli alone did not develop typical salpingitis. Finally, higher E. coli loads were determined in the oviducts as compared to E. faecalis and C. psittaci infection. Taken together, the combination of E. coli and E. faecalis, and C. psittaci could induce typical salpingitis and yolk peritonitis both in laying hens and breeder ducks. Secondary infection of E. coli and E. faecalis via artificial insemination is urgently needed for investigation against salpingitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Seroprevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Chlamydia abortus Infection in Sheep and Goats in Eastern Saudi Arabia
Pathogens 2021, 10(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10040489 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 736
Abstract
Chlamydia abortus (C. abortus) is intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium that cause enzootic abortion in sheep and goats. Information on C. abortus seroprevalence and flock management risk factors associated with C. abortus seropositivity in sheep and goats in Saudi Arabia are scarce. The [...] Read more.
Chlamydia abortus (C. abortus) is intracellular, Gram-negative bacterium that cause enzootic abortion in sheep and goats. Information on C. abortus seroprevalence and flock management risk factors associated with C. abortus seropositivity in sheep and goats in Saudi Arabia are scarce. The objectives of this study were to (i) estimate the animal, flock, and within-flock seroprevalence of C. abortus among Eastern Province sheep and goat flocks and (ii) identify the flock management and animal risk factors associated with C. abortus seropositivity in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional study with a two-stage sampling process was carried out in the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, between 2015 and 2016. A total of 1717 sheep and 1101 goat serum samples were collected from 21 sheep and 14 goat flocks, then were tested for C. abortus antibodies using a commercial ELISA Kit. In addition, vaginal swabs and aborted tissue samples were collected from sheep (n = 48) and goats (n = 15) with recent history of abortion for detection of C. abortuspmp gene using PCR. A questionnaire was constructed to collect information about flock management and animal risk factors possibly associated with C. abortus infection in sheep and goats. The true sheep and goat-level seroprevalences were 11.1% (95% CI: 9.7–12.7) and 10.6% (95% CI: 8.8–12.5), respectively. The true flock-level seroprevalence was 100% for both sheep and goats. However, the average within sheep and goat flocks true seroprevalences were 9.6% (95% CI: 1.8–22.9) and 9.3% (95% CI: 1.8–19.5), respectively. Multivariable logistic regression revealed that introduction of new sheep to the flocks (OR = 2.6; 95% CI: 1.5–4.4), type of breeding system (OR = 1.8; 95% CI: 1.0–3.4), flocks allowing females in (OR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.1–3.3) or females out (OR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.1–4.3), and sheep age 1.4–2.8 years (OR = 1.9; 95% CI: 1.3–2.9) were potential risk factors for C. abortus seropositivity in sheep flocks. However, in goat flocks, the introduction of new goats to the flocks (OR: 1.9; 95% CI: 1.2–3.0) was identified as a risk factor, whereas good farm hygiene (OR: 0.3; 95% CI: 0.2–0.7) was identified as a protective factor. C. abortus pmp gene was identified in 45 (93.8%) and 15 (100%) of samples collected from sheep and goats, respectively. These results could be used to implement efficient management measures to prevent and control C. abortus infection in sheep and goats in Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia, but also could be used to reduce the risk of C. abortus infection in sheep and goat flocks with similar management practices in other regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Molecular Detection and Identification of Chlamydiaceae in the Eyes of Wild and Domestic Ruminant Hosts from Northern Spain
Pathogens 2021, 10(3), 383; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030383 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 616
Abstract
Infections by Chlamydiae are associated with ocular disease in humans and animals. In this study, the presence and diversity of Chlamydia spp. was assessed in diseased and healthy eyes of domestic sheep and wild ruminants that share mountain habitats in northern Spain. The [...] Read more.
Infections by Chlamydiae are associated with ocular disease in humans and animals. In this study, the presence and diversity of Chlamydia spp. was assessed in diseased and healthy eyes of domestic sheep and wild ruminants that share mountain habitats in northern Spain. The presence of Chlamydia spp. was tested by real-time PCR in 1786 conjunctival swabs collected from both eyes of 893 animals from mountain habitats in northern Spain, and chlamydial species were identified in the positive samples by ArrayTube microarray methods. Chlamydial DNA was detected in 0.6% (CI95% 0.2–1.3) of the Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica) and 1.4% (CI95% <0.01–8.1) of the sheep (Ovis aries) sampled, with Chlamydia pecorum the only chlamydial species identified. No association of C. pecorum with ocular disease or co-infection with Mycoplasma conjunctivae was found. Further studies on the pathogenesis of infectious keratoconjunctivitis are needed to better understand the ecology of C. pecorum and its possible role as a ruminant pathogen at the wildlife–livestock interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
Article
Peptide ELISA and FRET-qPCR Identified a Significantly Higher Prevalence of Chlamydia suis in Domestic Pigs Than in Feral Swine from the State of Alabama, USA
Pathogens 2021, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10010011 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 850
Abstract
Chlamydia suis is an important, highly prevalent, and diverse obligate intracellular pathogen infecting pigs. In order to investigate the prevalence and diversity of C. suis in the U.S., 276 whole blood samples from feral swine were collected as well as 109 fecal swabs [...] Read more.
Chlamydia suis is an important, highly prevalent, and diverse obligate intracellular pathogen infecting pigs. In order to investigate the prevalence and diversity of C. suis in the U.S., 276 whole blood samples from feral swine were collected as well as 109 fecal swabs and 60 whole blood samples from domestic pigs. C. suis-specific peptide ELISA identified anti-C. suis antibodies in 13.0% of the blood of feral swine (26/276) and 80.0% of the domestic pigs (48/60). FRET-qPCR and DNA sequencing found C. suis DNA in 99.1% of the fecal swabs (108/109) and 21.7% of the whole blood (13/60) of the domestic pigs, but not in any of the assayed blood samples (0/267) in feral swine. Phylogenetic comparison of partial C. suis ompA gene sequences and C. suis-specific multilocus sequencing typing (MLST) revealed significant genetic diversity of the C. suis identified in this study. Highly genetically diverse C. suis strains are prevalent in domestic pigs in the USA. As crowding strongly enhances the frequency and intensity of highly prevalent Chlamydia infections in animals, less population density in feral swine than in domestic pigs may explain the significantly lower C. suis prevalence in feral swine. A future study is warranted to obtain C. suis DNA from feral swine to perform genetic diversity of C. suis between commercial and feral pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Comparative Genome Analysis of 33 Chlamydia Strains Reveals Characteristic Features of Chlamydia Psittaci and Closely Related Species
Pathogens 2020, 9(11), 899; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9110899 - 28 Oct 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1175
Abstract
To identify genome-based features characteristic of the avian and human pathogen Chlamydia (C.) psittaci and related chlamydiae, we analyzed whole-genome sequences of 33 strains belonging to 12 species. Using a novel genome analysis tool termed Roary ILP Bacterial Annotation Pipeline (RIBAP), this panel [...] Read more.
To identify genome-based features characteristic of the avian and human pathogen Chlamydia (C.) psittaci and related chlamydiae, we analyzed whole-genome sequences of 33 strains belonging to 12 species. Using a novel genome analysis tool termed Roary ILP Bacterial Annotation Pipeline (RIBAP), this panel of strains was shown to share a large core genome comprising 784 genes and representing approximately 80% of individual genomes. Analyzing the most variable genomic sites, we identified a set of features of C. psittaci that in its entirety is characteristic of this species: (i) a relatively short plasticity zone of less than 30,000 nt without a tryptophan operon (also in C. abortus, C. avium, C. gallinacea, C. pneumoniae), (ii) a characteristic set of of Inc proteins comprising IncA, B, C, V, X, Y (with homologs in C. abortus, C. caviae and C. felis as closest relatives), (iii) a 502-aa SinC protein, the largest among Chlamydia spp., and (iv) an elevated number of Pmp proteins of subtype G (14 in C. psittaci, 14 in Cand. C. ibidis). In combination with future functional studies, the common and distinctive criteria revealed in this study provide important clues for understanding the complexity of host-specific behavior of individual Chlamydia spp. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Article
Occurrence of Chlamydiaceae in Raptors and Crows in Switzerland
Pathogens 2020, 9(9), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090724 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1031
Abstract
Bacteria of the family Chlamydiaceae are globally disseminated and able to infect many bird species. So far, 11 species of Chlamydia have been detected in wild birds, and several studies found chlamydial strains classified as genetically intermediate between Chlamydia (C.) psittaci [...] Read more.
Bacteria of the family Chlamydiaceae are globally disseminated and able to infect many bird species. So far, 11 species of Chlamydia have been detected in wild birds, and several studies found chlamydial strains classified as genetically intermediate between Chlamydia (C.) psittaci and C.abortus. Recently, a group of these intermediate strains was shown to form a separate species, i.e., C.buteonis. In the present study, 1128 samples from 341 raptors of 16 bird species and 253 corvids representing six species were examined using a stepwise diagnostic approach. Chlamydiaceae DNA was detected in 23.7% of the corvids and 5.9% of the raptors. In corvids, the most frequently detected Chlamydia species was C.psittaci of outer membrane protein A (ompA) genotype 1V, which is known to have a host preference for corvids. The most frequently detected ompA genotype in raptors was M56. Furthermore, one of the raptors harbored C.psittaci 1V, and two others carried genotype A. C.buteonis was not detected in the bird population investigated, so it remains unknown whether this species occurs in Switzerland. The infection rate of Chlamydiaceae in corvids was high compared to rates reported in other wild bird species, but neither Chlamydiaceae-positive corvids nor raptors showed overt signs of disease. Since the Chlamydiaceae of both, raptors and crows were identified as C.psittaci and all C.psittaci genotypes are considered to be zoonotic, it can be suggested that raptors and crows pose a potential hazard to the health of their handlers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Review

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Review
A Review of Chlamydial Infections in Wild Birds
Pathogens 2021, 10(8), 948; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10080948 - 28 Jul 2021
Viewed by 779
Abstract
The Chlamydia are a globally distributed genus of bacteria that can infect and cause disease in a range of hosts. Birds are the primary host for multiple chlamydial species. The most well-known of these is Chlamydia psittaci, a zoonotic bacterium that has [...] Read more.
The Chlamydia are a globally distributed genus of bacteria that can infect and cause disease in a range of hosts. Birds are the primary host for multiple chlamydial species. The most well-known of these is Chlamydia psittaci, a zoonotic bacterium that has been identified in a range of wild and domesticated birds. Wild birds are often proposed as a reservoir of Chlamydia psittaci and potentially other chlamydial species. The aim of this review is to present the current knowledge of chlamydial infections in wild avian populations. We focus on C. psittaci but also consider other Chlamydiaceae and Chlamydia-related bacteria that have been identified in wild birds. We summarise the diversity, host range, and clinical signs of infection in wild birds and consider the potential implications of these infections for zoonotic transmission and avian conservation. Chlamydial bacteria have been found in more than 70 species of wild birds, with the greatest chlamydial diversity identified in Europe. The Corvidae and Accipitridae families are emerging as significant chlamydial hosts, in addition to established wild hosts such as the Columbidae. Clarifying the effects of these bacteria on avian host fitness and the zoonotic potential of emerging Chlamydiales will help us to understand the implications of these infections for avian and human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)

Other

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Case Report
Undiagnosed Cases of Human Pneumonia Following Exposure to Chlamydia psittaci from an Infected Rosella Parrot
Pathogens 2021, 10(8), 968; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10080968 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 655
Abstract
This report describes two cases of occupational exposure to Chlamydia psittaci following dissection of an infected Rosella (Platycercus elegans). The C. psittaci infections (with one of them resulting in diagnosed pneumonia and hospitalisation) were undiagnosed during routine medical investigations but later [...] Read more.
This report describes two cases of occupational exposure to Chlamydia psittaci following dissection of an infected Rosella (Platycercus elegans). The C. psittaci infections (with one of them resulting in diagnosed pneumonia and hospitalisation) were undiagnosed during routine medical investigations but later established due to epidemiological and clinical evidence, and molecular testing of the archived Rosella’ specimens. This case report stresses the importance of correct application and interpretation of diagnostic tests and the need to raise awareness about this zoonotic pathogen among medical practitioners and people exposed to potential animal carriers. Our findings suggest other infected individuals might be misdiagnosed and that C. psittaci (psittacosis) is likely to be underreported in Australia. This case highlights the need to operationalise the One Health concept. We call for improved communication between human and animal health service providers to allow accurate and rapid diagnosis of this zoonotic disease and raised awareness among medical practitioners. Further targeted surveys of wild birds (and other animals) should be conducted to improve assessment of risks to the general population and people working with or exposed to wild birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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Brief Report
Transferrins Reduce Replication of Chlamydia suis in McCoy Cells
Pathogens 2021, 10(7), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10070858 - 07 Jul 2021
Viewed by 665
Abstract
Chlamydia suis (C. suis) resides in the intestines of pigs and tetracycline-resistant strains are emerging worldwide. Intestinal infections are often subclinical. However, the gut is regarded as a C. suis reservoir and clinical infections have been associated with enteritis, conjunctivitis, pneumonia [...] Read more.
Chlamydia suis (C. suis) resides in the intestines of pigs and tetracycline-resistant strains are emerging worldwide. Intestinal infections are often subclinical. However, the gut is regarded as a C. suis reservoir and clinical infections have been associated with enteritis, conjunctivitis, pneumonia and reproductive failure. C. suis was found in boar semen and venereal transmission occurred. We studied the anti-Chlamydia suis activity of ovotransferrin (ovoTF) and bovine lactoferrin (bLF). Pre-incubation of C. suis with bLF or ovoTF had no significant effect on overall chlamydia replication (mean fluorescence area) in McCoy cells. The addition of ovoTF to the culture medium had no effect on bacterial replication, but the addition of 0.5 or 5 mg/mL of bLF significantly reduced the inclusion size by 17% and 15% respectively. Egg components are used for cryopreservation of boar semen. When inoculating an ovoTF-containing and Chlamydia suis-spiked semen sample in McCoy cells, a significant reduction in inclusion number (by 7%) and overall replication (by 11%) was observed. Thus, we showed that transferrins possess anti-chlamydial activity. Moreover, ovoTF addition to semen extenders might reduce C. suis venereal transmission. Further research is needed to unravel the mechanisms behind the observations and to enhance the effect of transferrins on C. suis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Chlamydiae: A Concern for Human and Veterinary Medicine)
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